How to Change Text to Number in Excel for Office 365: A Step-by-Step Guide


Michael Collins

Changing text to a number in Excel for Office 365 is a simple process that can be done in just a few clicks. By converting text to numbers, you’ll be able to perform calculations and analyze your data more effectively.

Step by Step Tutorial: Changing Text to Number in Excel for Office 365

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand why you might need to change text to a number in Excel. Sometimes, when data is imported or copied from another source, numbers can be formatted as text, which prevents you from using them in calculations. Here’s how to fix that.

Step 1: Select the cells with text

Click and drag your mouse over the cells that contain the text you want to convert to numbers.

Selecting the right cells is crucial because Excel will only convert the data in the cells you have highlighted. Make sure you don’t accidentally include any cells with data that should remain as text.

Step 2: Open the Data tab

Click on the Data tab located at the top of the Excel window.

The Data tab contains tools that help you manage your data, including the "Text to Columns" feature, which we will use to convert text to numbers.

Step 3: Click on ‘Text to Columns’

Find and click the ‘Text to Columns’ button in the Data Tools group.

"Text to Columns" is usually used for splitting data, but it also has the handy side effect of changing text to numbers.

Step 4: Choose ‘Delimited’ and click ‘Next’

In the wizard that appears, select ‘Delimited’ and then click the ‘Next’ button.

Choosing ‘Delimited’ tells Excel how your data is separated. In most cases, you won’t need to change any settings here.

Step 5: Uncheck all delimiters and click ‘Next’

Uncheck all the delimiter options and click ‘Next’.

Since we’re not actually splitting any data, we don’t want to use any delimiters.

Step 6: Select ‘General’ and click ‘Finish’

Choose the ‘General’ format and click ‘Finish’.

The ‘General’ format tells Excel to format the cells as numbers. Once you click ‘Finish’, Excel will convert the selected text to numbers.

After completing these steps, the selected text will be converted to numbers, allowing you to use them in calculations and data analysis.

Tips: Changing Text to Number in Excel for Office 365

  • Double-check your data before and after conversion to ensure accuracy.
  • Remember that converting text to numbers may remove leading zeroes.
  • Use the ‘Undo’ feature (Ctrl + Z) if you make a mistake during the process.
  • If you have a mix of text and numbers in a cell, consider using the ‘VALUE’ function instead.
  • Take advantage of Excel’s ‘Error Checking’ feature which can identify numbers stored as text.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if Excel doesn’t convert my text to numbers?

Check your data to make sure there are no non-numeric characters. If there are, remove them and try converting again.

Can I convert multiple ranges of cells at once?

Yes, you can select multiple ranges by holding the Ctrl key while selecting the cells.

Will this process affect my formulas?

If your formulas reference the cells you’re converting, they may update automatically. Double-check them to ensure they’re still accurate.

Is there a shortcut to convert text to numbers?

Yes, you can select the cells, then click the warning icon that appears and select "Convert to Number" from the menu.

Can I use this method to convert numbers to text?

No, this method is specifically for converting text to numbers. To convert numbers to text, you can prefix the number with an apostrophe or use the TEXT function.


  1. Select the cells with text.
  2. Open the Data tab.
  3. Click on ‘Text to Columns’.
  4. Choose ‘Delimited’ and click ‘Next’.
  5. Uncheck all delimiters and click ‘Next’.
  6. Select ‘General’ and click ‘Finish’.


Changing text to number in Excel for Office 365 can seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. Whether you’re a student juggling data for a project or a professional dealing with vast datasets, mastering this skill can save you time and hassle. Just remember to double-check your data before and after conversion to ensure everything is as it should be. Experiment with different types of data, and don’t be afraid to use the ‘Undo’ feature if things don’t go as planned. As you become more comfortable with Excel, you’ll find that this is just one of the many powerful tools at your disposal to make data management a smoother process. Keep exploring, keep learning, and most importantly, don’t let those pesky numbers stored as text slow you down!