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Excel Video 162 helps you convert text to values and values to text. Before Excel 2007, I used the VALUE and TEXT functions a lot more than I do now. I’ll show you what I do now to convert values to text and text to values, and then I’ll show you how to use VALUE and TEXT.
The Text to Columns feature in Excel 2007 (and 2010) is faster and easier to switch data between text and values, so that’s what I use most often now. If you aren’t on Excel 2007 yet or if you need to control when you change to text and when you change to values, say as part of an IF statement, here’s how to use VALUE and TEXT.
Why bother changing text to values and back in the first place? If you’re going to use VLOOKUP, you need what you’re looking for to have the same data type as the table you’re looking in. Excel won’t find 99,201 in a list of CPT codes. You may also have trouble doing calculations with imported date fields if the dates are stored as text instead of as dates. Especially when you’re importing data, you’ll find the ability to change text to values helpful.