How to Convert Text to Numbers in Google Sheets using the VALUE function

by Sanj


Text-to-number conversion plays a pivotal role in data analysis, financial modeling, and various other spreadsheet tasks. By converting textual information into numeric values, you can perform calculations, create visualizations, and derive meaningful insights. Google Sheets, the powerful cloud-based spreadsheet tool, offers a range of functions and methods to simplify this process. One such function, the VALUE function, will be our focus today.

Understanding the VALUE Function

The VALUE function is a versatile tool within Google Sheets that allows you to convert text strings into numerical values. It comes in handy when you're dealing with data imported from external sources or when you want to transform text-based entries into numerical formats for further analysis.

To use the VALUE function, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the cell where you want the converted value to appear.
  2. Enter the formula "=VALUE(text)", replacing "text" with the cell reference or text string you wish to convert.

Let's take a closer look at the syntax and usage of the VALUE function:


Here, "text" refers to the cell reference or text string you want to convert. The function will evaluate the input and convert it into a numeric value.

For example, if you have a text string "123" in cell A1 and you want to convert it into a number, simply enter the formula "=VALUE(A1)" in another cell. The VALUE function will interpret the text string as a number and display the converted value accordingly.

Tips and Tricks for Efficient Text-to-Number Conversion

Converting text to numbers in Google Sheets may seem straightforward, but there are some nuances and best practices to keep in mind. Let's explore a few handy tips and tricks to ensure smooth and accurate conversions:

  1. Handling Commas and Decimal Points:

    • In some locales, commas are used as decimal separators, while others use periods. Ensure your text conforms to the locale settings of your spreadsheet.
    • If your text contains commas or other non-numeric characters, remove them before applying the VALUE function. You can use the SUBSTITUTE function to replace unwanted characters with an empty string.
  2. Error Handling:

    • If the text you're trying to convert is not a valid numeric representation, the VALUE function will return an error. Be mindful of non-numeric characters, leading/trailing spaces, or formatting issues that could trigger errors.
    • To handle errors gracefully, consider using the IFERROR function in combination with the VALUE function. This allows you to display a specific message or perform an alternative action when encountering errors.
  3. Bulk Conversion:

    • If you have a range of cells containing text that you want to convert to numbers, instead of applying the VALUE function manually to each cell, you can use an array formula. Array formulas perform operations on multiple cells simultaneously, making your conversion process more efficient.
  4. Copying and Pasting Values:

    • After using the VALUE function to

convert text to numbers, you can copy the converted values and paste them as plain values. This eliminates any formulas and ensures the values remain fixed, even if the original text changes.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1: Can the VALUE function convert text with leading/trailing spaces to numbers? A1: Yes, the VALUE function can handle text strings with leading or trailing spaces. It automatically trims these spaces and converts the remaining text into a number.

Q2: What happens if the text string contains mixed alphanumeric characters? A2: The VALUE function will only extract the numeric portion of the text string and convert it into a number. Alphabetic characters or special symbols will be ignored.

Q3: Can I convert a range of text cells to numbers in one go? A3: Absolutely! To convert a range of text cells to numbers, enter the VALUE function in the first cell, and then drag the fill handle across the desired range. Google Sheets will apply the formula to each cell automatically.

Q4: Is it possible to customize the formatting of the converted numbers? A4: Yes, once you've converted the text to numbers using the VALUE function, you can apply various formatting options available in Google Sheets to customize the appearance of the converted numbers.


Converting text to numbers is a fundamental task when working with data in Google Sheets.

In this article, we explored the ins and outs of text-to-number conversion in Google Sheets. We learned how to utilize the VALUE function to convert text, along with tips and tricks to streamline the process. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently handle text-to-number conversions and unlock the full potential of Google Sheets in your data-driven endeavors.

So, go ahead and embrace the power of the VALUE function. Convert that text to numbers, and let your data thrive in the realm of numeric possibilities!