Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Converting Between Measurement Systems
Converting Between Measurement Systems
You know the distance from New York to London in miles, but your European office needs the
numbers in kilometers. What’s the conversion factor?
The Excel CONVERT function can convert between a variety of measurements in these categories:
h Weight and mass
h Distance
h Time
h Pressure
h Force
h Energy
h Power
h Magnetism
h Temperature
h Liquid measures
In versions prior to Excel 2007, the CONVERT function required the Analysis ToolPak
add-in. This useful function is now built in, and an add-in is not required.
The CONVERT function requires three arguments: the value to be converted, the from-unit, and
the to-unit. For example, if cell A1 contains a distance expressed in miles, use this formula to
convert miles to kilometers:
=CONVERT(A1,”mi”,”km”)
The second and third arguments are unit abbreviations, which are listed in the Help system. Some
abbreviations are commonly used, but others aren’t. And, of course, you must use the exact
abbreviation. Furthermore, the unit abbreviations are case sensitive, so the following formula
returns an error:
=CONVERT(A1,”Mi”,”km”)
The CONVERT function is even more versatile than it seems. When using metric units, you can
apply a multiplier. In fact, the first example I presented uses a multiplier. The unit abbreviation
for the third argument is for meters. I added the kilo-multiplier — k — to express the result in
kilometers.

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