The Excel CONVERT Function

Basic Description

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

The format 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 to the Excel Convert function must make sense - ie. they may not be from different measurement types (eg. temperature & distance). If you attempt to convert between two different measurement types, Excel will return the #N/A error.

The tables below show all the different measurement types that the Excel Convert Function can work with, and show the text abbreviations that must be supplied to the function to denote each unit type. Note that the text abbreviations for the unit types are case sensitive.

Distance Units
Meter "m"
Statute Mile "mi"
Nautical Mile "Nmi"
Inch "in"
Foot "ft"
Yard "yd"
Angstrom "ang"
Pica "Pica"
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"
Gallon "gal"
Liter "l" (or "lt")
Temperature Units
Degree Celsius "C" (or "cel")
Degree Fahrenheit "F" (or "fah")
Kelvin "K" (or "kel")
Power Units
Horsepower "HP" (or "h")
Watt "W" (or "w")
Magnetism Units
Tesla "T"
Gauss "ga"
Time Units
Year "yr"
Day "day"
Hour "hr"
Minute "mn"
Second "sec"
Weight & Mass Units
Gram "g"
Slug "sg"
Pound Mass "lbm"
U (Atomic Mass Unit) "u"
Ounce Mass "ozm"
Force Units
Newton "N"
Dyne "dyn" (or "dy")
Pound Force "lbf"
Pressure Units
Pascal "Pa" (or "p")
Atmosphere "atm" (or "at")
mm of Mercury "mmHg"
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")

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

Multiplier Multiplier Value Abbreviation
exa 1.00E+18 "E"
peta 1.00E+15 "P"
tera 1.00E+12 "T"
giga 1.00E+09 "G"
mega 1.00E+06 "M"
kilo 1.00E+03 "k"
hecto 1.00E+02 "h"
dekao 1.00E+01 "e"
deci 1.00E-01 "d"
centi 1.00E-02 "c"
milli 1.00E-03 "m"
micro 1.00E-06 "u"
nano 1.00E-09 "n"
pico 1.00E-12 "p"
femto 1.00E-15 "f"
atto 1.00E-18 "a"

Convert Function Examples

The following spreadsheets show some examples of use of the Excel Convert Function.

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" )
1 22.09098863
2 0.220909886
3 153.6
4 18.92705892
5 20000000
6 32

Convert Function Common Errors

If you get an error from the Excel Convert function this is likely to be the #N/A error:

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 doesn't make sense);
- One of the supplied units (the from_unit or the to_unit) is not a recognised abbreviated unit type.