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What Is the Text Function in Excel?

Learn about the text function in this Howcast Excel tutorial with expert Shir Moscovitz.


Hi, my name is Shir and I'm the founder and CEO of where we focus on converting the existing data from your business into massive savings and extraordinary profits. Today we're going to learn the basics of Excel. Let's get started.

So what is the TEXT Function? Well, it's quite simply the Function that converts numbers into a specific TEXT Format. So what that means is that we can have a number over here - 1234567 - and if we use the TEXT function which is shown here - "=" TEXT - which value am I taking or which CELL am I referencing to take the value from - in this case A5 and what format do I want it to appear as. Notice the quotes at the beginning and at the end. Here I want the currency symbol ($) and I want a pound sign (#), a comma for the 1,000 mark and additional pound signs, .00 - (=TEXT(A5,"$#,###.00")). What that means is no matter how big the number is - it will always show it in the correct comma format and it will also always show it to two decimal points. When I hit ENTER, it shows it properly here - meaning if I change the number itself to only be - 1234 - it shows it like so or even just like this it correctly shows it. That's one use of the TEXT Function.

Another use is to combine numbers with TEXT. So we're going to take a combination of the TEXT Function and we're going to Concatenate or use a Operator to add some additional TEXT to it as well. So here we have "=" TEXT, the Function of TEXT. I'm going to take this value which is 50,000 or 5 with 4 zeros. I'm going to choose this Format to show it in and again with the currency. We're going to add or Concatenate or join in basically a "per year." Right, cause now I'm taking this number and I'm saying I want it to be $50,000 dollars per year. If I change this number, it changes this sentence which is very useful if I had a longer sentence such as this one. 75% is the data itself and now I can say with a Formula that I just created - "=" and the TEXT again. Notice the quotes for anything that's TEXT - Shir accounted for "space" Concatenate or join in. Inside of this I am including the TEXT Function. TEXT of A7 which is this data right here and I want it to show in this Format which is a number and a percent sign. Close that up and join in the rest of it which is "of the profits this quarter." And when I hit ENTER that is one full sentence which I can now change and it knows how to update it properly.

For a full reference guide on all the rules and all the syntax, all you have to do is click on the INSERT Function, type in TEXT, hit Go or hit ENTER on the keyboard and notice that when you highlight the Function you want and you want more information, you can click on Help on this function which brings up EXCEL's Help feature which has a full article that will explain all you could possibly want to know about this Function. It describes it in great detail over here. It gives us many examples. Here, if you do this it's going to display it as this. Here's the syntax or the specific letters and numbers and commas and punctuation that you need to use right over here. And a lot of different examples of what each type of symbol means and results in when you're using it. So this is a great tool for all the Functions that you have not learned yet to learn all about it. So I recommend you read up on it quite thoroughly if you're interested. If not, that's more than enough to get you started on the TEXT Function.

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