The Excel HEX2BIN Function

Related Function:
Bin2Hex Function

Basic Description

Hexadecimal (base 16), decimal (base 10), octal (base 8), and binary (base 2) are the most commonly used numeral systems in engineering and computing. Therefore, Excel has provided functions to convert numeric values to and from each of these systems.

The Excel Hex2Bin function converts a Hexadecimal (Base 16) number into a Binary (Base 2) number.

The format of the function is :

HEX2BIN( number, [places] )

Where the function arguments are :

number - The hexadecimal number that is to be converted to binary.
[places] -

An optional argument, which specifies the number of characters that you want the returned binary number to have.

If this is greater than the minimum, the binary number will be padded out using leading zeros.

If omitted, the returned binary uses the minimum number of places.

Note that the number argument must be no more than 10 characters (40 bits) long. The most significant bit of this value denotes the sign of the number and the remaining 39 bits denote the magnitude. Negative numbers are represented using two's complement notation.

It should also be noted that, as hexadecimals use the numbers 0-9 and the characters a-f, they should be enclosed in quotation marks when they are supplied to an Excel function. (eg. The hexadecimal 11a should be input as "11a").

  +   Display Hexadecimal and Binary Summary:

Hex2Bin Function Examples

The following spreadsheet shows examples of the Excel Hex2Bin function. The format of the function is shown in the spreadsheet on the left and the result is shown in the spreadsheet on the right.

1 =HEX2BIN( "2" )
2 =HEX2BIN( "0000000001" )
3 =HEX2BIN( "2", 10 )
5 =HEX2BIN( "1D" )
1 10
2 1
3 0000000010
4 1111110000
5 11101

Note that, in the above example spreadsheet, the negative hexadecimal and binary numbers in cell A4 are represented by two's complement notation.

Further information and examples of the Excel Hex2Bin function can be found on the Microsoft Office website.

Hex2Bin Function Common Errors

If you get an error from your Excel Hex2Bin function this is likely to be one of the following :

Common Errors
#VALUE! - Occurs if the supplied [places] argument is not recognised as a number
#NUM! - Occurs if either:
- the supplied number argument is not recognised as a hexadecimal number or contains more than 10 characters
- the resulting binary number requires more places than is specified by the supplied [places] argument
- the supplied [places] argument ≤ 0
#NAME? -

Occurs when Analysis ToolPak add-in is not enabled in your Excel.
You will need to enable the add-in if you want to use the Excel engineering functions.

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