How to Convert Text to Numbers in Google Sheets using Number Format

by Sanj


Google Sheets is a powerful tool that allows users to manipulate data in various ways. One common task is converting text to numbers, which can be crucial for performing calculations and analysis. In this blog post, we will explore a simple yet effective method to convert text to numbers in Google Sheets using the number format feature. By understanding this technique, you can unlock the full potential of your data and harness the true power of Google Sheets.

Number Format: Your Key to Converting Text to Numbers

To convert text to numbers in Google Sheets, we will utilize the number format functionality. By changing the number format of a cell or range of cells, we can instruct Sheets to interpret text values as numbers.

  1. Selecting the Range of Cells: To begin, choose the range of cells that contain the text values you want to convert. This could be a single cell, a column, a row, or even a larger range encompassing multiple cells.

  2. Accessing the Format Cells Option: Once you have selected the desired range, right-click on it to open the context menu. From the menu options, click on "Format cells." This action will open the "Format cells" dialog box, where you can make the necessary changes.

  3. Navigating to the Number Tab: In the "Format cells" dialog box, you will find various tabs for different formatting options. Click on the "Number" tab to access the settings related to number formatting.

  4. Selecting the Desired Number Format: Within the "Number" tab, you will find a list of predefined number formats. Google Sheets provides several options, such as "Number," "Automatic," "Currency," and more. Choose the format that suits your specific requirements. In this case, we want to convert the text values to numbers, so the "Number" format will be appropriate.

Applying the Number Format to Convert Text to Numbers

Now that we have learned how to access the number format settings, let's dive into applying the chosen format to convert text to numbers effectively.

  1. Choosing the Number Format: As mentioned earlier, select the desired number format from the list available in the "Number" tab. If you are unsure which format to choose, you can experiment with different options to see which one provides the desired outcome.

  2. Clicking the "Apply" Button: Once you have selected the appropriate number format, click on the "Apply" button in the lower right corner of the "Format cells" dialog box. This action will instantly apply the chosen format to the selected range of cells, converting text values to numbers.


Here are some frequently asked questions related to converting text to numbers in Google Sheets:

  1. Can I convert only a portion of the text within a cell to a number? No, the number format feature applies to the entire cell content. If you have a cell containing both text and numbers, applying the number format will convert the entire content to a number.

  2. What if the number format does not convert my text to numbers correctly? In some cases, the number format may not correctly interpret text values as numbers. This could happen if the text contains special characters, currency symbols, or other non-numeric elements. In such scenarios, you may need to clean the data by removing any unwanted characters before applying the number format.


Converting text to numbers is a fundamental skill in Google Sheets, enabling you to perform calculations, create charts, and gain insights from your data. By utilizing the number format feature, you can effortlessly transform text values into numerical data. Remember to select the appropriate number format from the "Format cells" dialog box to ensure accurate conversion. With this newfound knowledge, you can unlock the full potential of Google Sheets and make your data work for you.

Now that you have learned the art of converting text to numbers in Google Sheets, go ahead and put it into practice.