Convert Numbers to Text in Google Sheets: A Guide

Jason Gong
June 6, 2024

Use TO_TEXT or TEXT functions to convert numbers to text in Google Sheets.

By the way, we're Bardeen, we build a free AI Agent for doing repetitive tasks.

If you're working with data, you might love Bardeen's GPT in Spreadsheets feature. It can help you with data formatting, summarizing, and more.

Converting numbers to text in Google Sheets is a crucial skill for maintaining data consistency and clarity in your spreadsheets. In this step-by-step guide, we'll show you how to use built-in functions like TO_TEXT, TEXT, and VALUE to easily convert numbers to text and vice versa. Whether you're working with currencies, dates, or other numerical data, these techniques will help you streamline your data management and presentation.

Introduction to Number-to-Text Conversion in Google Sheets

Converting numbers to text in Google Sheets is a crucial skill for maintaining data consistency and clarity in your spreadsheets. There are several reasons why you might need to convert numbers to text:

  • To maintain the original formatting of numbers, such as leading zeros or specific number of decimal places
  • To prevent numbers from being automatically reformatted by Google Sheets, such as dates or percentages
  • To ensure that numbers are treated as text when importing or exporting data between different applications

By converting numbers to text, you can maintain the integrity of your data and avoid potential errors or inconsistencies. In the following sections, we'll explore various methods for converting numbers to text in Google Sheets, including using built-in functions and formatting options. If you want to automate repetitive tasks, consider using GPT in Google Sheets.

Utilizing the TO_TEXT Function for Basic Conversions

The TO_TEXT function in Google Sheets is a simple and effective way to convert numbers to text without changing their appearance. The syntax for the function is as follows:


Where "value" is the number or reference to a cell containing a numeric value that you want to convert to text.

When you use the TO_TEXT function, it will return the numeric value as a string, preserving any existing formatting such as currencies, decimals, percentages, or dates. This means that the converted value will look the same as the original number, but it will be treated as text by Google Sheets. For more advanced uses, you can integrate Google Docs to streamline your processes.

Here are a few practical examples of using the TO_TEXT function:

  • Converting a plain number: TO_TEXT(24) will return "24" as a text value
  • Converting a currency: TO_TEXT($1,500.00) will return "$1,500.00" as a text value
  • Converting a percentage: TO_TEXT(75%) will return "75%" as a text value
  • Converting a date: TO_TEXT(DATE(2023,3,15)) will return "3/15/2023" as a text value (depending on your date formatting settings)

It's important to note that if the "value" argument in the TO_TEXT function is not a number or a reference to a cell containing a numeric value, the function will return the value without any modification. For more data management tips, you can connect Microsoft Excel with your Google Sheets.

Save time by using automated workflows from Bardeen to manage repetitive tasks in Google Sheets.

Advanced Formatting with the TEXT Function

The TEXT function in Google Sheets allows you to convert numbers to text with specific formatting, such as dates and financial figures. The syntax for the TEXT function is as follows:

TEXT(value, format)

Where "value" is the number, date, or time you want to format, and "format" is a string that specifies the desired formatting pattern.

Here are some examples of using custom format patterns with the TEXT function:

  • Formatting dates: TEXT(DATE(2023,3,15),"mmmm d, yyyy") will return "March 15, 2023"
  • Formatting financial figures: TEXT(1234.56,"$#,##0.00") will return "$1,234.56"
  • Formatting percentages: TEXT(0.75,"0.00%") will return "75.00%"

The TEXT function supports a wide range of format patterns for dates and times, including:

  • d or dd for the day of the month
  • ddd or dddd for the day of the week (short or full name)
  • m or mm for the month (number)
  • mmm or mmmm for the month (short or full name)
  • yy or yyyy for the year (two or four digits)
  • h or hh for the hour (12-hour clock)
  • H or HH for the hour (24-hour clock)
  • m or mm for minutes
  • s or ss for seconds
  • AM/PM for displaying the time of day

Learn how you can enrich data in Google Sheets for more readable and informative text representations of your numeric data.

Converting Text Back to Numbers Using the VALUE Function

In some scenarios, you may need to convert text back to numbers in Google Sheets, such as after importing data from other sources. The VALUE function is the perfect tool for this task.

The VALUE function converts a text string that represents a number into a numeric value. Its syntax is:


Where "text" is the cell reference or a string enclosed in double quotes that you want to convert to a number.

Here are a few examples of using the VALUE function:

  • Converting a simple number: VALUE("123") will return the number 123
  • Converting a date: VALUE("3/15/2023") will return the serial number for March 15, 2023
  • Converting a time: VALUE("12:30") will return the decimal value 0.520833333, representing 12:30 PM

To apply the VALUE function to a cell containing text:

  1. Select the cell where you want the converted number to appear
  2. Type =VALUE(
  3. Click on the cell containing the text you want to convert or type the cell reference
  4. Close the parentheses and press Enter

The VALUE function will convert the text to a number, which you can then use in formulas and calculations. Keep in mind that the text must be in a format that can be recognized as a number, date, or time for the VALUE function to work correctly.

Additionally, if you need to scrape data from websites, Bardeen offers tools that integrate with Google Sheets for easy data extraction and automation.

Save time and focus on important work with Bardeen's web scraping tools. Automate data extraction and streamline your processes.

Streamlining Bulk Conversions with ARRAYFORMULA and VALUE

When dealing with large datasets in Google Sheets, converting text to numbers one cell at a time can be tedious and time-consuming. This is where array formulas come in handy, allowing you to handle multiple cells at once.

The ARRAYFORMULA function, combined with the VALUE function, enables you to convert a range of text entries into numbers efficiently. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to use this powerful combination:

  1. Select the cell where you want the converted numbers to appear
  3. Highlight the range of cells containing the text you want to convert
  4. Close the parentheses and press Enter

For example, if you have text values in cells A1:A10 that you want to convert to numbers, you would enter the following formula:


This single formula will convert all the text values in the specified range into numbers, saving you the hassle of applying the VALUE function to each cell individually.

Keep in mind that the ARRAYFORMULA and VALUE combination works best when the text values are already in a format that can be recognized as numbers, such as "123" or "45.67". If your text contains additional characters or formatting, you may need to use other functions like automated lead management to clean up the data before applying the VALUE function.

Automate Google Sheets Tasks with Bardeen

While manually converting numbers to text in Google Sheets using functions such as 'TO_TEXT' or 'TEXT' can be straightforward, automating this process can significantly enhance productivity, particularly for repetitive tasks or large datasets. Bardeen offers powerful automation capabilities that can simplify your work in Google Sheets. Here are some examples of how you can automate tasks related to number and text conversion in Google Sheets with Bardeen:

  1. Save selected text to Google Sheets, when I right-click: This playbook allows you to effortlessly save any selected text to Google Sheets with a right-click. It's perfect for quickly capturing and organizing data without having to manually enter it.
  2. Send a Slack message counting the rows in a Google Sheet: Keep your team updated by automatically sending a Slack message with the count of rows in a Google Sheet. This is ideal for tracking progress or inventory levels in real-time.
  3. Copy Google News for a keyword and save results to Google Sheets: Automatically populate a Google Sheet with Google News results for a specific keyword. This is incredibly useful for market research or staying informed on specific topics.

Each of these playbooks can be easily integrated into your workflow to automate and streamline your Google Sheets tasks. Get started by downloading the Bardeen app at

Automate Google Sheets with Bardeen

Bardeen's GPT in Spreadsheets helps you manage data more efficiently in Google Sheets.

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