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Excel/read text as numbers


I have some text data that Id like to excel to read as numeric values, but show only the text.
e.g. aa = 1, ab = 2, ac = 3, ad = 4.
Once excel can read the text as numeric data, I want to be able to perform some simple functions, such as if statements and averages (e.g. (aa+ac)/2=ab), using the numeric data, but show only the text.
Using a number of lookuptables could work, but I am hoping that there is a simpler method (may involve programming?) please help!

(question found in the question pool)

It is possible to do this, and without using VBA - simply use the option of inserting names into your workbook (in menu versions of Excel it's insert, name, define - at current location I haven't got access to a ribbon version but as far as I remember it is on the formulas ribbon, and is name manager).  You can then define names such as aa by entering AA as the name and in refers to typing

This now means that AA means 1 and can therefore be used in all formulas on that workbook.  HOWEVER, if the text data already exists and you want to sum those values then you are going to be out of luck as the indirect worksheet function won't convert the text to the name I'm afraid - and at this point, I'm not sure even a VBA solution would do what you wanted
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Aidan Heritage


I have provided first hand support since `95 for Microsoft Office majoring in Word and Excel - support for all versions from 2 onwards. I'm based in the UK, so please allow for time differences when asking me questions from other parts of the world!


My background is in the insurance industry and call centre areas, but have been called upon to provide many varied solutions.

I'm educated to UK A level standard, but as I left school some 30 years ago that is rather irrelevent - university of life has provided more of a background!

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