# Excel Formula to Convert

# Numbers to Words

One of the most asked for Excel features is the ability to turn a number into words.

Because many people need this ability, and Excel does not currently possess such a feature, the old saying “Necessity is the mother of invention” took over. One such VERY inventive person is PETE M.!!!!!

Pete M. is a commercial manager and consultant, and Pete needed this ability. Pete took it upon himself to create such a feature.

But Pete had some requirements for the feature:

- The feature would not use any VBA code.
- The feature would not use complicated array formulas (CTRL-Shift-Enter formulas).
- The feature would not use any helper columns in the spreadsheet.
- The feature can accommodate up to 2-decimal place accuracy.
- The feature will work with numbers between 1 and 999,999,999.

Everything had to be contained within a single cell’s formula.

# Let’s look at some examples

# Changing the Currency

# and Decimal Usage

Suppose you need to update this formula to work with US dollars and you don’t require the decimal places.

If you look at the very end of the formula, you will see the portion that is responsible for the decimal places.

&RIGHT(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"),2)&"/100"

If you do not require decimal places to be displayed, erase this portion of the formula.

For the currency type, change the portion labeled “Euro” to “USD” or “CAD” or whatever currency designation you wish.

Let’s see how that appears after our little formula tweak.

# How to apply the formula to many cells

Suppose you have a spreadsheet and you wish to enter a number in cell **B4** and have the formula answer appear in the cell directly to the right in cell **C4**.

We need to make sure that none of the cell references change when copying the formula to a new location.

- Place your cursor on the cell holding the original formula and press
**F2**to enable edit mode (*or click in the*).**Formula Bar** - Select the entire formula by pressing
**CTRL-A**(*or manually highlighting the formula.*)**CTRL-A**is faster and more accurate. - Press
**CTRL-C**to copy the formula. - Press the
**ESC**(*Escape*) key to back out of edit mode. - Switch to the location and cell you wish to use this formula and press
**F2**to enable edit mode. - Press
**CTRL-V**to paste the formula into the new cell.

We’re not quite there yet because all the cell references are pointing to cell **B3**. If your data entry cell is in fact cell **B3**, you are ready to go. If not, we need to update the cell references to point to the proper data entry location.

Because our original formula was looking at cell **B3** for the number and we wish to enter our number in cell **B4,** we will now perform the following steps to adjust our cell references:

- Place your cursor on the cell holding the pasted formula and press
**F2**to enable edit mode (*or click in the*).**Formula Bar** - Remove the
**equals sign**(=) from the beginning of the formula. - Press
**ENTER**. We now have just a massive amount of text in the cell. - Press
**CTRL-H**to open the**Find/Replace**dialog box. - In the “
**Fi**” field, enter “__n__d what:**B3**” (*no double-quotes*). - In the “
**R**” field, enter “__e__place with:**B4**” (*no double-quotes*). - Press the “
**Replace**” button.__A__ll

Restore the equals sign to the beginning of the formula from where we removed it earlier in **step 2**.

# Running it through some tests

To test the formula quickly and over multiple iterations, select cell **B4** and enter the following formula.

=RANDBETWEEN(1,2000000)

This formula will generate a random number between 1 and 2-million each time the sheet recalculates.

You can force a recalculation by pressing the **F9** key on the keyboard or pressing **Formulas (tab) -> Calculation (group) -> Calculate Now**.

To see several examples simultaneously, select cells **B4** and **C4** and pull the **Fill Series** handle down several rows. This will generate several random numbers and their text counterparts.

# Bonus Modification

If you decide to not display the fractional side of the number, the above modification simply removes the fractional values without any rounding operation.

If you would like to round the input to the nearest whole number, implement the following steps:

- Place your cursor on the cell holding the pasted formula and press
**F2**to enable edit mode (*or click in the*).**Formula Bar** - Remove the
**equals sign**(=) from the beginning of the formula. - Press
**ENTER**. We now have just a massive amount of text in the cell. - Press
**CTRL-H**to open the**Find/Replace**dialog box. - In the “
**Fi**” field, enter “__n__d what:**B3**” (*no double-quotes*). - In the “
**R**” field, enter “__e__place with:**ROUND(B3,0)**” (*no double-quotes*). - Press the “
**Replace**” button.__A__ll

Restore the equals sign to the beginning of the formula from where we removed it earlier in **step 2**.

Don’t forget to change the **B3** reference to whichever cell you are performing the data entry.

# Are you curious as to how all this works?

This formula relies on the use of four key functions:

- LEFT
- MID
- TEXT
- CHOOSE

It’s not necessary to dissect every component of the formula, we only need to decipher the first bit highlighted below.

CHOOSE(LEFT(TEXT(B3),"000000000.00"))+1,,"One","Two","Three","Four","Five","Six","Seven","Eight","Nine") &IF(--LEFT(TEXT(B3),"000000000.00"))=0,,IF(AND(--MID(TEXT(B3),"000000000.00"),2,1)=0,--MID(TEXT(B3),"000000000.00"),3,1)=0)," Hundred"," Hundred and "))

Once we have this portion figured out we’ll be able to figure out the remainder of the formula since it is very much a repeated operation.

## The LEFT Function

The purpose of the **LEFT** function is to extract a specific number of characters from the text starting from the left side. The structure of the **LEFT** function is as follows.

=LEFT(text, [num_chars])

The parameter “**text**” refers to the cell holding the input, while “**[num_chars]**” indicates the number of characters to extract. Because the “**[num_chars]**” parameter is optional, skipping this parameter will result in a default extraction of 1 character.

## The MID Function

The purpose of the **MID** function is to extract a specific number of characters from the text starting from a specific character position (counting from the left side). The structure of the **MID** function is as follows.

=MID(text, start_num, num_chars)

The parameter “**text**” refers to the cell holding the input; the parameter “**start_num**” indicates the position to begin text extraction (counting from the left side), while “**num_chars**” indicates the number of characters to extract.

## The TEXT Function

The purpose of the **TEXT** function is to represent a cell’s information with specific formatting. The structure of the **TEXT** function is as follows.

=TEXT(value, format_text)

Normally, formatting is applied to a cell through traditional cell formatting controls.

The **TEXT** function applies formatting *(fancy word alert)* formulaically. This way, we can change the formatting of information dynamically based on the need of the moment.

EXAMPLE: Suppose you have a calculation that needs to reflect U.S. Dollars or Euros depending on a country selection. The formula could look something like the following:

=IF(Country=”USA”, TEXT(Sale, ”$#,##0.00”), TEXT(Sale, “€#,##0.00”))

If the user selects USA (cell **A2)** , they get the total sales represented by a “**$**” sign (cell **C4)** . If the user selects any other country, the total sales is represented by a “**€**” symbol.

This function relies on a cell named “Country” (cell **A2**) where a user may select a country from a Data Validation dropdown list, and a cell named “Sale” (cell **A9**) that may hold something like a **SUM** function that adds all the sales together.

In our specific example, the function…

=TEXT(B3,”000000000.00”)

…pads the input number with leading zeroes. By counting the leading zeroes, the formula will be able to determine if the number is in the hundreds, thousands, or millions.

If a user inputs a number, such as 123456.78, the **TEXT** function will interpret the number as 000123456.78. The three leading zeroes indicates a number in the thousands.

## The CHOOSE Function

The **CHOOSE** function is used to simplify multiple nested **IF** functions that are examining the same data. **CHOOSE** is especially useful when working with indexes.

The purpose of the **CHOOSE** function is to select a value from a built-in list of values based on a supplied number.

=CHOOSE(index_num, value1, [value2], …)

If we were to extract the first (left-most) number from the input number and give it to the following **CHOOSE** function, what do you think we would get back from the **CHOOSE** function?

=CHOOSE(LEFT(B3), “One”, “Two”, “Three”, “Four”, “Five”, “Six”, “Seven”, “Eight”, “Nine”)

We would see the word version of the extracted number. “2” would yield “Two”, “5” would yield “Five”, etc…

# Putting it All Together

In the formula, we are combining all the functions into a single formula, each function performing their respective parts to accomplish the mission.

CHOOSE(LEFT(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"))+1,,"One","Two","Three","Four","Five","Six","Seven","Eight","Nine") &IF(--LEFT(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"))=0,,IF(AND(--MID(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"),2,1)=0,--MID(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"),3,1)=0)," Hundred"," Hundred and "))

First we use the **TEXT** function to turn the number into a “000000000.00” format.

TEXT(B3,"000000000.00")

Then, we extract the left-most character form the number.

LEFT(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"))

This will allow us to determine if the returned number is a zero or any other value. This will indicate weather or not our number is in the “millions” range.

Next, we **CHOOSE** how to represent the extracted value.

CHOOSE(LEFT(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"))+1,,"One","Two","Three","Four","Five","Six","Seven","Eight","Nine")

We then check to see if the value is a zero.

CHOOSE(LEFT(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"))+1,,"One","Two","Three","Four","Five","Six","Seven","Eight","Nine")&IF(--LEFT(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"))=0,,

If the value is a zero, then we are not in the millions so we will display nothing.

If the next two digits are zero, then we will display “Hundred”; otherwise, we will display “Hundred and”.

CHOOSE(LEFT(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"))+1,,"One","Two","Three","Four","Five","Six","Seven","Eight","Nine") &IF(--LEFT(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"))=0,,IF(AND(--MID(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"),2,1)=0,--MID(TEXT(B3,"000000000.00"),3,1)=0)," Hundred"," Hundred and "))

# That’s It!

This formula doesn’t rely on any

- VBA
- CTRL-Shift-Enter Array Formulas, or
- Helper Cells

Thank you, Pete for sharing your formula with the Excel community. I’m certain many will find your solution both creative and highly useful.

## Practice Workbook

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ThanhMay 16, 2019 at 1:46 pmI have another formula and it also works

https://gist.github.com/ndthanh/3644114f4619a4a25e8a9148fc92ca27

Tad StevensMay 17, 2019 at 1:13 amThat works as well, and it only increases the formula’s length by a mere 2,000 characters.

Derek FinglesonMay 16, 2019 at 2:42 pmAbsolutely Amazing Formulae !!!…..

And not only are you Beautiful.. But you a very knowledgeable girl and a great teacher Too….

BasheMay 18, 2019 at 6:37 amMany thanks to Mr. Pete M. and Tutor, this formula will help me alot.

MannedMay 19, 2019 at 1:07 amThank you very much

SK RaoMay 20, 2019 at 5:00 amVery helpful

Please advise how I can change it to three decimal places.