The Excel CONVERT Function

Basic Description

The Excel CONVERT function converts a number from one unit type (e.g. Yards) to another unit type (e.g. Meters). The function is new to Excel 2007, so is not available in earlier versions of Excel.

The syntax of the function is:

CONVERT( number, from_unit, to_unit )

Where the arguments are as follows:

number-The number to be converted.
from_unit-A text string, denoting the current unit for the original number.
to_unit-A text string, denoting the unit that you want to convert the original number to.


The from_unit and to_unit arguments provided to the Excel Convert function must make sense. I.e. they may not be from different measurement types (e.g. temperature & distance). If you attempt to convert between two incompatible measurement types, Excel will return the #N/A error.


The tables below show the different measurement types that the Excel Convert Function understands, and the text abbreviations that must be supplied to the function to denote each unit type. Note that:

Distance Units
Meter"m"
Statute Mile"mi"
Nautical Mile"Nmi"
Inch"in"
Foot"ft"
Yard"yd"
Angstrom"ang"
Pica (1/6 inch)"pica"
Pica (1/72 inch)"Pica" (or "Picapt")
Ell"ell"
Light-year"ly"
Parsec"parsec" (or "pc")
U.S. survey mile"survey_mi"
Area Units
International acre"uk_acre"
U.S. survey acre"us_acre"
Square angstrom"ang2" (or "ang^2")
Are"ar"
Square feet"ft2" (or "ft^2")
Hectare"ha"
Square inches"in2" (or "in^2")
Square light-year"ly2" (or "ly^2")
Square meters"m2" (or "m^2")
Morgen"Morgen"
Square miles"mi2" (or "mi^2")
Square nautical miles"Nmi2" (or "Nmi^2")
Square Pica"Picapt2" (or "Pica2" or "Pica^2" or "Picapt^2")
Square yards"yd2" (or "yd^2")
Liquid Units
Teaspoon"tsp"
Tablespoon"tbs"
Fluid Ounce"oz"
Cup"cup"
U.S. Pint"pt" (or "us_pt")
U.K. Pint"uk_pt"
Quart"qt"
Imperial quart"uk_qt"
Gallon"gal"
Imperial gallon"uk_gal"
Liter"l" (or "lt")
Cubic angstrom"ang3" (or "ang^3")
U.S. oil barrel"barrel"
U.S. bushel"bushel"
Cubic feet"ft3" (or "ft^3")
Cubic inch"in3" (or "in^3")
Cubic light-year"ly3" (or "ly^3")
Cubic meter"m3" (or "m^3")
Cubic mile"mi3" (or "mi^3")
Cubic yard"yd3" (or "yd^3")
Cubic nautical mile"Nmi3" (or "Nmi^3")
Cubic Pica"Picapt3" (or "Picapt^3" or "Pica3" or "Pica^3")
Gross Registered Ton"GRT" (or "regton")
Measurement ton"MTON"
Power Units
Horsepower"HP" (or "h")
Watt"W" (or "w")
Pferdestärke"PS"
Magnetism Units
Tesla"T"
Gauss"ga"
Time Units
Year"yr"
Day"day"
Hour"hr"
Minute"mn"
Second"sec"
Speed Units
Admiralty knot"admkn"
Knot"kn"
Meters per hour"m/h" (or "m/hr")
Meters per second"m/s" (or "m/sec")
Miles per hour"mph"
Weight & Mass Units
Gram"g"
Slug"sg"
Pound Mass"lbm"
U (Atomic Mass Unit)"u"
Ounce Mass"ozm"
Grain"grain"
U.S. hundredweight"cwt" (or "shweight")
Imperial hundredweight"uk_cwt" (or "lcwt" or "hweight")
Stone"stone"
Ton"ton"
Imperial ton"uk_ton" (or "LTON" or "brton")
Force Units
Newton"N"
Dyne"dyn" (or "dy")
Pound Force"lbf"
Pond"pond"
Pressure Units
Pascal"Pa" (or "p")
Atmosphere"atm" (or "at")
mm of Mercury"mmHg"
PSI"psi"
Torr"Torr"
Temperature Units
Degree Celsius"C" (or "cel")
Degree Fahrenheit"F" (or "fah")
Kelvin"K" (or "kel")
Degrees Rankine"Rank"
Degrees Réaumur"Reau"
Energy Units
Joule"J"
Erg"e"
Thermodynamic Calorie"c"
IT Calorie"cal"
Electron Volt"eV" (or "ev")
Horsepower-Hour"HPh"
Watt-Hour"Wh"
Foot-Pound"flb"
BTU"BTU" (or "btu")
Information Units
Bit"bit"
Byte"byte"


In addition, the following text can be prepended any metric to_unit or from_unit. (E.g. the "c" prepended to the meter unit, "m" becomes "cm" to denote centimeters).

Once again, the prefixes that are colored in red were introduced in Excel 2013 and so are not available in earlier versions of Excel.

PrefixPrefix ValueAbbreviation
yotta1.00E+24"Y"
zetta1.00E+21"Z"
exa1.00E+18"E"
peta1.00E+15"P"
tera1.00E+12"T"
giga1.00E+09"G"
mega1.00E+06"M"
kilo1.00E+03"k"
hecto1.00E+02"h"
dekao1.00E+01"e" (or "da")
deci1.00E-01"d"
centi1.00E-02"c"
milli1.00E-03"m"
micro1.00E-06"u"
nano1.00E-09"n"
pico1.00E-12"p"
femto1.00E-15"f"
atto1.00E-18"a"
zepto1.00E-21"z"
yocto1.00E-24"y"
Binary PrefixPrefix ValueAbbreviation
yobi2^80"Yi"
zebi2^70"Zi"
exbi2^60"Ei"
pebi2^50"Pi"
tebi2^40"Ti"
gibi2^30"Gi"
mebi2^20"Mi"
kibi2^10"ki"


Convert Function Examples

The following spreadsheet shows the Excel Convert Function, used to convert between various different unit types.

 Formulas:
 A
1=CONVERT( 20.2, "m", "yd" )
2=CONVERT( 20.2, "cm", "yd" )
3=CONVERT( 0.2, "gal", "tsp" )
4=CONVERT( 5, "gal", "l" )
5=CONVERT( 0.02, "Gm", "m" )
6=CONVERT( 0, "C", "F" )
 Results:
 A
122.09098863
20.220909886
3153.6
418.92705892
520000000
632

Further information and examples of the Excel Convert function are provided on the Microsoft Office website.


Convert Function Errors

If you get an error from the Excel Convert function this is likely to be one of the following:

Common Error
#N/A-

Occurs if either:

  • The two units supplied are not compatible (i.e. if the conversion from the from_unit to the to_unit does not make sense)
or
  • One (or both) of the supplied units (the from_unit or the to_unit) is not a recognised abbreviated unit type.
#VALUE!-Occurs if the supplied number argument is non-numeric.