Excel Tip: Convert Number to Text

Here are four basic ways to convert a number in a cell to text.

Method (1) Format Cells

1) Right click cell(s) of interest and click on “Format Cells…”

2) Under the Number tab Choose Text as your Category

Method (2) Text function

1) use the TEXT function.  It has the formatting of =TEXT(Value,Format)

For example, =TEXT(42.6,”0.00″) returns 42.60 as a text value.  The formatting is the same as that used in the Format Cells dialogue box.

Method (3) Concatenation with &

Using the ampersand (&), you can concatenate text.  For example, the formula =”a”&”b” returns ab.  If you concatenate any text to a number (including a null text such as “”) it will return a text value.  So, typing the formula =””&70.0 returns 70 as a text.  Note the formatting isn’t as convenient as using the TEXT function.

Method (4) Text to Columns

Choosing Data -> Text To Columns from the menu will let you convert your numbers to text.  When the dialogue opens up just follow the steps in the Wizard:

Step 1) Choose Delimited and click Next.

Step 2) Tab delimited and click Next.

Step 3) Choose Text as your Coumn Data Format and click Finish.

Analyzing Urban Traffic Statistics with Wolfram|Alpha

Traffic statistics is yet another topic that Wolfram|Alpha can analyze.  The Wolfram|Alpha blog gives some examples for the usage.

New York City. Los Angeles. Chicago. Each of these cities is renowned for a diverse array of cultural, entertainment, culinary, and other experiences—as well as for legendary traffic delays. But just how bad do native commuters have it? And if you drive to work in a different city, how does your commute stack up? Wolfram|Alpha can’t yet guide you through the traffic, but it can visualize and compare statistics about traffic and urban transportation in more than 100 US urban areas, with data from the Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report.

Wolfram|Alpha – Plotting Functions and Graphs in Wolfram|Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha - Plot
Wolfram|Alpha - 3D Plot (Credit: Wolfram|Alpha)

The Wolfram|Alpha blog has published some information on plotting functions with Wolfram|Alpha.  The plots come out quite nice whether 2D, 3D, or contour, and you don’t need to install any software to do some quick plots.

Plotting Functions and Graphs in Wolfram|AlphaMay 17, 2011Plotting functions in the Cartesian plane is such a simple task with Wolfram|Alpha: just enter the function you are looking to graph, and within seconds you will have a beautiful result. If you are feeling daring, enter a multivariate function, and the result will be a 3D Cartesian graph. Wolfram|Alpha is certainly not limited to Cartesian plotting; we have the functionality to make number lines, 2D and 3D polar plots, 2D and 3D parametric plots, 2D and 3D contour plots, implicit plots, log plots, log-linear plots, matrix plots, surface of revolution plots, region plots, list plots, pie charts, histograms, and more. Furthermore, in Wolfram|Alpha we can generate specialized plots for illustrating asymptotes, cusps, maxima, minima, inflection points, saddle points, solutions of ordinary differential equations, poles, eigenvalues, series expansions, definite integrals, 2D inequalities, interpolating polynomials, least-squares best fits, and more. Let’s take a look at the plotting functionality in Wolfram|Alpha, some of which is newly improved!We will start simple with 2D Cartesian plots.

via Wolfram|Alpha Blog : Plotting Functions and Graphs in Wolfram|Alpha.

Wolfram|Alpha – Intro

Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine

Wolfram|Alpha is becoming a more valuable tool for engineers practically every day.  If you haven’t used it before, you should definitely check it out.  Their goals are summarized on their info page:


Wolfram|Alpha’s long-term goal is to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone.

We aim to collect and curate all objective data; implement every known model, method, and algorithm; and make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything. Our goal is to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.

Wolfram|Alpha aims to bring expert-level knowledge and capabilities to the broadest possible range of people—spanning all professions and education levels.

Our goal is to accept completely free-form input, and to serve as a knowledge engine that generates powerful results and presents them with maximum clarity.

Wolfram|Alpha is an ambitious, long-term intellectual endeavor that we intend will deliver increasing capabilities over the years and decades to come.

With a world-class team and participation from top outside experts in countless fields, our goal is to create something that will stand as a major milestone of 21st century intellectual achievement.

You can do a lot with it.  It can definitely serve as a quick replacement when you need to consult an infrequently-used table for some data.  What is the bulk density of sand?  Need to know the coefficient of thermal expansion for Copper?  What about the general properties of elemental Silicon?  Need to solve some engineering problems?  These examples only scratch the surface of the large number of topics that Wolfram|Alpha covers.