The VALUE function is a computer program that you run from a worksheet cell formula. It simply takes a piece of text that represents a number and converts it into a real number. Remember Excel and functions do make that distinction. The VALUE function is used heavily in converting ActiveX dashboard control outputs into numbers your formulas can use. This usually operation usually involves some type of string concatenation. It is also heavily used in flipping the values returned from the LEFT, RIGHT and MID functions into numbers then using those values in some type of table lookup operation involving VLOOKUP, MATCH.... It is also used in formulas involving date and time operations.

Whenever you type a formula in a worksheet cell, this is called syntax or grammar. The general VALUE function syntax has a format like this when you type it in a worksheet cell:

=VALUE(text)

Where text is called the function argument list. Remember, you are running a computer program at this point so the program needs information to operate and that is why there is an argument list. When you see an argument list and you see square brackets [ ] around the argument name, this means the argument is optional and you do not have to include it when typing unless you need it. So for the syntax above, you need to include one argument for the VALUE function when typing it in a worksheet cell formula in order for it to calculate correctly. What argument values can be used are discussed below. Remember functions expect certain things in their argument lists, if you do not put the correct information in the list, they will generate an error when run.

- text: This is the piece text that represents a number. It can be a date ("12/12/2015"), it can be a time ("12:00:00"), it can be a number ("100"), it can be a number with commas, dollar signs("$12,000.00) anything that can be determined as numeric in nature. The best way is just to test it and see if it works.

Since the VALUE function is a computer program, it runs when you press Enter to enter the formula that contains it. If any of the arguments are wrong, the function will return an error.

When typing the VALUE function in a worksheet cell formula, you need to replace the text argument with a piece of text representing a number. Some typical arguments you can use are:

Argument Type | Cell Formula | Example Explanation |

Cell Reference | = VALUE( A1 ) | Flips the text value in cell A1 into a number |

Range Reference | = VALUE( A1:A10 ) | Flips the text values in the range A1:A10 and returns an array of numbers |

String Concatenation | = VALUE( A1 & "/" & A2 & "/" & A3 ) | Flips the date string created from the string concatenation into a serial number that represents the date |

Date and Time | = Value( "12:00:00" ) | Flips the time string into a number which is .5 |

* It is possible to name a cell or group of cells on a worksheet and use that name in place of a range reference or cell reference. Consult Excel help on how to name a cell.

The worksheet seen below contains some typical worksheet formulas that run the VALUE worksheet function. Pay close attention to the argument list and the syntax used to write the formula.

A | B | C | |

1 | 12 | = VALUE( A1 & "/" & A2 & "/" & A3 ) | Flips the date string created from the string concatenation into a serial number that represents the date which is 42353 |

2 | 15 | ||

3 | 2015 | ||

4 | |||

5 | CA-100 | ||

6 | Item# | Quantity | A typical use of the VALUE function is to take a piece of text parsed with say the RIGHT function, flip it to a number (100), then use that value in a VLOOKUP. You cannot just use the answer directly from RIGHT because that is a piece of text and the Item# is a number. VLOOKUP would never work |

7 | 100 | 500 | =VLOOKUP( VALUE( RIGHT( A5,3 ) ) , A6:B9, 2, FALSE ) |

8 | 200 | 600 | |

9 | 300 | 700 | |

- Text can be in any of the numeric formats including number, date, or time formats. If text is not in one of these formats, VALUE returns the #VALUE! error value.
- You do not need to use the VALUE function in a formula because Excel automatically converts text to numbers as necessary. It, however, becomes critical to use in Functions.

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