How to Convert Measurements in Excel

Using the CONVERT Function in Excel Formulas

Use the CONVERT function in Excel

The CONVERT function is used to convert measurements from one set of units to another in Excel.

For example, the CONVERT function can be used to convert degrees Celsius to degrees Fahrenheit, hours to minutes, or meters to feet.

Learn how to use the CONVERT function in Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2019 for Mac, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011, and Excel Online.

CONVERT Function Syntax

Excel CONVERT function

This is the syntax for the CONVERT function:

=CONVERT(Number,From_Unit,To_Unit)
  • =CONVERT: This is the function, so it should never be changed when converting values.
  • Number: The value to be converted. Can be a number held within the same cell as the formula or one referenced in another cell.
  • From_Unit: The shortform of the Number current measurement unit, in quotations.
  • To_Unit: The shortform of the measurement unit that Number will be converted to, in quotations.

When choosing units for conversion, it's the shortforms that are entered as the From_Unit and To_Unit arguments for the function. For example, "in" is used for inches, "m" for meters, "sec" for second, etc. There are several more examples at the bottom of this page.

CONVERT Function Example

Convert Measurements in Excel
© Ted French

Note: These instructions do not include formatting steps for the worksheet like you see in our example image. While this won't interfere with completing the tutorial, your worksheet will probably look different than the example shown here, but the CONVERT function will give you the same results.

In this example, we'll look at how to convert a measurement of 3.4 meters to an equivalent distance in feet.

  1. Enter the data into cells C1 to D4 of an Excel worksheet as seen in the image above.
  2. Select cell E4. This is where the results of the function will be displayed.
  3. Go to the Formulas menu and choose More Functions > Engineering.
  4. Select CONVERT from that drop-down menu.
  5. In the dialog box, select the text box next to the "Number" line, and then click on cell E3 in the worksheet to enter that cell reference into the dialog box.
  6. Return to the dialog box and select the From_unit text box.
  7. Select cell D3 in the worksheet to enter that cell reference.
  8. Back in the same dialog box, locate and select the text box next to To_unit and then select cell D4 in the worksheet to enter that cell reference.
  9. Click OK.

The answer 11.15485564 should appear in cell E4.

When you click on cell E4, the complete function =CONVERT( E3, D3, D4) appears in the formula bar above the worksheet.

To convert other distances from meters to feet, change the value in cell E3. To convert values using different units, enter the shortform of the units in cells D3 and D4 and the value to be converted in cell E3.

To make it easier to read the answer, the number of decimal places displayed in cell E4 can be reduced by using the Decrease Decimal option available on the Home > Number menu section.

Another option for long numbers like this is to use the ROUNDUP function.

List of Excel's CONVERT Function Measurement Units and Their Shortforms

These shortforms are entered as the From_unit or To_unit argument for the function.

The shortforms can be typed directly into the appropriate line in the dialog box, or the cell reference to the location of the shortform in the worksheet can be used.

Time

 Year - "yr" 
Day - "day"
Hour - "hr"
Minute - "mn"
Second - "sec"

Temperature

 Degree (Celsius) - "C" or "cel" 
Degree (Fahrenheit) - "F" or "fah"
Degree (Kelvin) - "K" or "kel"

Distance

 Meter - "m" 
Mile (statute) - "mi"
Mile (nautical) - "Nmi"
Mile (US survey statute mile) - "survey_mi"
Inch - "in"
Foot - "ft"
Yard - "yd"
Light-year - "ly"
Parsec - "pc" or "parsec"
Angstrom - "ang"
Pica - "pica"

Liquid Measure

 Liter - "l" or "lt" 
Teaspoon - "tsp"
Tablespoon - "tbs"
Fluid ounce - "oz"
Cup - "cup"
Pint (U.S.) - "pt" or "us_pt"
Pint (U.K.) - "uk_pt"
Quart - "qt"
Gallon - "gal"

Weight and Mass

 Gram - "g" 
Pound mass (avoirdupois) - "lbm"
Ounce mass (avoirdupois) - "ozm"
Hundredweight (US) - "cwt" or "shweight"
Hundredweight (imperial) - "uk_cwt" or "lcwt"
U (atomic mass unit) - "u"
Ton (imperial) - "uk_ton" or "LTON"
Slug - "sg"

Pressure

 Pascal - "Pa" or "p" 
Atmosphere - "atm" or "at"
mm of Mercury - "mmHg"

Force

 Newton - "N" 
Dyne - "dyn" or "dy"
Pound force - "lbf"

Power

 Horsepower - "h" or "HP" 
Pferdestärke - "PS"
Watt - "w" or "W"

Energy

 Joule - "J" 
Erg - "e"
Calorie (thermodynamic) - "c"
Calorie (IT) - "cal"
Electron volt - "ev" or "eV"
Horsepower-hour - "hh" or "HPh"
Watt-hour - "wh" or "Wh"
Foot-pound - "flb"
BTU - "btu" or "BTU"

Magnetism

 Tesla - "T" 
Gauss - "ga"

Note: Not all options are listed here. If the unit does not need to be abbreviated, it's not shown on this page.