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Converting Strings to Numbers

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Converting Strings to Numbers.

Using VBA you can easily convert strings to numbers. You can do this with the Val() function. This function returns the value of a string, up to the first nonnumeric character. The following are examples:

A = Val(MyString)
B = Val("-12345.67")
C = Val("9876")
D = Val("   4     5  2      1")

The first line converts MyString into a numeric value, placing it in A. The second line results in B being set to –12345.67. The third places the value 9876 into C, and the final line sets D equal to 4521. Notice that spaces are ignored in the conversion; this is why the final line works the way it does.

You should also note that trying to use formatted numbers in a conversion will confuse the Val() function. Thus, Val("1,234") would not return a value of 1234 (as one might hope), but a value of 1. The conversion stops at the first non-numeric character, in this case the comma.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1347) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Converting Strings to Numbers.

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