Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 10: Miscellaneous Calculations
h Temperature
h Liquid measures
Prior to Excel 2007, the CONVERT function required the Analysis TookPak add-in.
Beginning with Excel 2007, this useful function is built in.
The CONVERT function requires three arguments: the value that you want to convert, the
fromunit, 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 Excel Help system.
Some of the 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 actual unit
abbreviation for the third argument is m for meters. I added the kilo-multipler — k — to express the result
in kilometers.
In some situations, the CONVERT function requires some creativity. For example, what if you
need to convert ten square yards to square feet? Neither of these units are available, but the
following formula does the job:
=CONVERT(CONVERT(10,”yd”,”ft”),”yd”,”ft”)
The nested instance of CONVERT converts ten yards into feet, and this result (30) is used as the
first argument of the outer instance of the function. Similarly, to convert ten cubic yards into unit
cubic feet, use this formula:
=CONVERT(CONVERT(CONVERT(10,”yd”,”ft”),”yd”,”ft”),”yd”,”ft”)
The companion CD-ROM includes a workbook named unit conversion tables.
xlsx that contains conversion factors for a number of units. This workbook uses
hardcoded conversion factors and does not use the CONVERT function.

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