Convert Measurements in Excel

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Convert Measurements in Excel

Convert Measurements in Excel
Convert Measurements in Excel. © Ted French

Convert Measurements 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.

A complete list of units and their shortforms that can be used with this function is available on page two of the tutorial.

The syntax for the CONVERT function is:

=CONVERT ( Number, From_Unit, To_Unit )

Number - the value to be converted.

From_Unit - the shortform of the Number's current measurement unit.

To_Unit - the shortform of the measurement unit the Number will be converted to.

When choosing units for conversion, it is the shortforms that are entered as the From_Unit and To_Unit arguments for the function.

Convert Measurements in Excel Example

In the example shown in the image above, we will convert a measurement of 3.4 meters to an equivalent distance in feet.

Note: The instructions for copying the data do not include formatting steps for the worksheet.

This will not interfere with completing the tutorial. Your worksheet may look different than the example shown, but the CONVERT function will give you the same results.

  1. Enter the data into cells C1 to D4 of an Excel worksheet as seen in the image above.
  2. Click on cell E4 - this is where the results of the function will be displayed.
  3. Click on the Formulas tab of the ribbon menu.
  4. Choose More Functions > Engineering from the ribbon to open the function drop down list.
  5. Click on CONVERT in the list to bring up the function's dialog box.
  6. In the dialog box, click on the Number line.
  7. Click on cell E3 in the worksheet to enter that cell reference into the dialog box.
  8. In the dialog box, click on the From_Unit line.
  9. Click on cell D3 in the worksheet to enter that cell reference.
  10. In the dialog box, click on the To_Unit line.
  11. Click on cell D4 in the worksheet to enter that cell reference.
  12. Click OK.
  13. The answer 11.15485564 should appear in cell E4.
  14. To make it easier to read the answer, the number of decimal places displayed in cell E4 can be reduced by using the Decreasing Decimal Places option available on the Home tab of the ribbon.
  15. When you click on cell E4 the complete function =CONVERT( E3, D3, D4) appears in the formula bar above the worksheet.
  16. To convert other distances from meters to feet, change the value in cell E3.
  17. To convert values using different units, enter the units' shortforms in cells D3 and D4 and the value to be converted in cell E3.

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CONVERT Function Measurement Units and Their Shortforms

Below is a list of unit shortforms that can be used with Excel's CONVERT function.

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.

For an example of how to use these shortforms in the CONVERT function see page 1 of this tutorial.


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


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


 Meter - "m" 
 Mile (statute) - "mi" 
 Mile (nautical) - "Nmi" 
 Inch - "in" 
 Foot - "ft" 
 Yard - "yd" 
 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"
 U (atomic mass unit) - "u" 
 Slug - "sg"  


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


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


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


 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"


 Tesla - "T" 
 Gauss - "ga" 

Metric Unit Shortforms

For metric units, the only change to a unit's name as it decreases or increases in size is the prefix used n front of the name - such as centimeter for 0.1 meters or kilometer for 1,000 meters.

Given this, below is a list of single letter prefixes that can be placed in front of any metric unit shortform listed above to change the units used in either the From_Unit or To_Unit arguments.


  • for distances, to covert miles to kilometers rather than meters, use km instead of m.
  • for weights, to covert ounces to milligrams rather than grams, use mg instead of g.

Note: Some of the prefixes must be entered in upper case as shown below.

 Prefix - Shortform
 exa    - "E" 
 peta   - "P" 
 tera    - "T" 
 giga    - "G" 
 mega  - "M" 
 kilo      - "k" 
 hecto  - "h" 
 dekao - "e" 
 deci    - "d" 
 centi   - "c" 
 milli     - "m" 
 micro  - "u" 
 nano  - "n" 
 pico    - "p" 
 femto - "f" 
 atto   - "a"
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Your Citation
French, Ted. "Convert Measurements in Excel." ThoughtCo, Aug. 23, 2016, French, Ted. (2016, August 23). Convert Measurements in Excel. Retrieved from French, Ted. "Convert Measurements in Excel." ThoughtCo. (accessed December 18, 2017).