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Excel BASE Function

Excel BASE function

The Excel BASE function converts a number to the text representation of the same number in a given base, where base is provided as the radix argument.

Convert number to another base.
Return value 
The text representation of the converted number.
=BASE (number, radix, [min_length])
  • number - The number to convert to a given base.
  • radix - The base to convert to.
  • min_length - [optional] The minimum string length to return, achieved by padding with zeros.
Usage notes 

The BASE function converts a number to a given base and returns the result as a text string. Base is specified with the radix argument. 

The BASE function takes three arguments: number, radix, and min_length. Number should be an integer between 1 and 2^53. If number is negative, BASE returns a #NUM! error. The radix argument is used to specify base. Radix represents the number of digits used to represent numbers and should be an integer between 2 and 36. The optional min_length argument is the minimum string length that BASE should return. When min_length is provided, BASE will pad the output with zeros as needed to achieve the length specified.


The radix argument specifies base and the output from the BASE function is a text string. For example, the formulas below convert the number 13 into text representations of 13 in base 2 (binary), base 10 (decimal), and base 16 (hexadecimal):

=BASE(13,2) // returns "1101"
=BASE(13,10) // returns "13"
=BASE(13,16) // returns "D"

In the worksheet shown, the input numbers are being converted to three different representations: base 2 (binary), base 10 (decimal), and base 16 (hexadecimal). The formulas in D5, E5, and F5 are:

=BASE(B5,2) // base 2
=BASE(B5,10) // base 10
=BASE(B5,16) // base 16

The function also offers an optional argument min_length which will pad the returned string with zeros when its length is less than the given value. For example, the formulas below require a minimum length of 4:

=BASE(3,2,4) // returns "0011" as text
=BASE(10,16,4) // returns "000A" as text

DECIMAL function

The DECIMAL function performs the opposite conversion as the BASE function:

=BASE(100,2) // returns "1100100"
=DECIMAL("1100100",2) // returns 100

See more on the DECIMAL function here.


  • The result from BASE is a text string.
  • If number is negative, BASE returns a #NUM! error.
  • BASE expects integers; decimal values are ignored.

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