Excel/Text Only


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Sample 1  
Hi Mary--

Thanks for reading and hopefully answering this question.

I just received an Excel spreadsheet from a relatively trusted source, which I've opened and tried to work on. However, all entries in the sheet--both existing ones and ones I add--are TEXT and not numbers. Wherever I add a formula (sum, mostly), the cell contents show as the formula and not the result. All the numbers are text, the dates are text, everything is text. And this is not a formatting issue; the data really is text. I've tried various "convert text to numbers" solutions found on the internet, nothing works. It's as if some high-level setting that I've never heard of is turned on saying "all cells and all data is to be understood as text, no exceptions."


Thanks for any help / ideas / suggestions you might have.

Hi Ty,

Apologies for the late reply.

Unfortunately if the numbers and all other data has been entered as text, I do not see how you can 'calculate' the data, except if they are numbers.  What i would recommend is that you select data that should be numbers and go to the number format option and change to numbers.

To do this, select the column with the numerical date (that is now text) and go to the Home tab, select General and change the format to numbers.  Hopefully this should resolve the numerical data format for you.


Mary Lindsey
About Excel
This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (or workbook) stand-alone or Mircrosoft Office Excel including Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Excel help on Excel formulas(or functions), Excell macros, charting in Excel, advanced features, and the general use of Excel. This does not provide a general Excel tutorial nor the basics of using a spreadsheet. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Excel only. If you do not see your Excel question answered in this area then please ask an Excel question here


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Mary A. Lindsey


I can answer Microsoft Excel 2000-2007 questions regarding formatting, styles, shortcut keys, templates, forms, etc, but will not answer any macro questions.


I have over 15 years experience working in corporate America as legal and financial document support specialist. I have designed a template that converts html and Excel files to inserts these numerical data into Word documents so that there will be no document corruption because of file size and graphics that comes as part of HTML and Excel.


I am a Microsoft Office Master Instructor (MOS), Certiport Administrator and Proctor (97-2003)

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