The Excel N function returns a number when given a value. The N function can be used to convert TRUE and FALSE to 1 and 0 respectively. When given a text value, the N function returns zero.


Convert a value to a number

Return value 

A number or error code


  • value - The value to convert to a number.

How to use 

Use the N function to convert value to a number. The N function takes one argument, value, which can be a cell reference, a formula result, or a hardcoded value. Values are converted as shown below. The logical values TRUE and FALSE are converted to 1 and 0, and text values are converted to zero. Numeric values and errors are unaffected.

Input value Return value
Any number Same number
A recognized date A date in Excel serial number format
Error (#VALUE, #N/A, #NUM!, etc.) Same error code
Other values 0

The N function is provided for compatibility with other spreadsheet programs. In most cases, using the N function is unnecessary, because Excel automatically converts values when needed. However, the N function is a simple way to convert TRUE and FALSE to their numeric equivalents, 1 and 0, as mentioned below.


The N function converts text values to zero:

=N("apple") // returns 0

Numeric values and errors are not affected:

=N(100) // returns 100
=N(5/0) // returns #DIV/0!

The N function converts TRUE to 1 and FALSE to zero:

=N(TRUE) // returns 1
=N(FALSE) // returns 0
=N(3>1) // returns 1
=N(3<1) // returns 0

There are several ways to perform this conversion in Excel, which is useful in more advanced formulas. For example, the formula below will return a count of cells in a range that contain more than 100 characters:


This article explains other ways to convert TRUE and FALSE to 1 and 0.


  1. The N function removes text values. The T function removes numeric values.
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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.