CONVERT Units of Measure

There are times I need to quickly convert a quantity from one unit of measure to another (inch, foot), or from one system of measurement to another (metric, imperial). For example, when I am entering meals into MyFitnessPal, preparing a meal in the kitchen, or working on a project in the garage. When I need to quickly know how many ounces are in a cup, how many feet are in a meter, or how many liters are in a gallon, I usually just ask Siri or Alexa. But, when there are many conversions or the data is in Excel, we can use Excel’s CONVERT function to help out.

CONVERT

The CONVERT function allows us to convert a quantity from one unit of measure to another. The basic syntax is:

CONVERT(number, from_unit, to_unit)

For example, CONVERT(1, “cup”, “oz”) would return 8.

But, instead of entering each argument value directly into the function, we can store them in cells. For example, we could store the arguments in cells like this:

In E7, we could write the following formula:

=CONVERT(B7, C7, D7)

We then fill the formula down:

This function supports many options for length, time, weight, volume, temperature, and more. For example, gram, ton, meter, parsec, light year, yard, hour, minute, year, watt, fahrenheit, celsius, teaspoon, tablespoon, ounce, cup, quart, gallon, liter, and so many others.

The function uses traditional abbreviations, which are conveniently displayed as you write the function:

If I’m just doing a single quick conversion, I’m likely to use a voice assistant or Google. But, when I have many conversions or when the data is in Excel, the CONVERT function is a really nice option.

Sample file

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Jeff Lenning

I love sharing the things I've learned about Excel, and I built Excel University to help me do that. My motto is: Learn Excel. Work Faster.

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2 Comments

  1. Randy Hogan on July 23, 2020 at 9:31 am

    How did I not know this existed?!? Thanks!

  2. Doug on July 23, 2020 at 10:01 am

    You could take this one step further using data validation to create drop-down lists in C7 & D7. B7 would be a keyed in value, C7 & D7 drop-down lists, and E7 the is the same formula (
    =CONVERT(B7, C7, D7) ). You could also add in a “check” method so someone doesn’t try to convert inches to milliliters ;-}

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