# Excel N Function

## Summary

The Excel N function returns a number when given a value.

## Purpose

Convert a value to a number

## Return value

A number or error code

=N (value)

## Arguments

• value – The value to convert to a number.

## Usage notes

Use the N function to convert value to a number. Values are converted according the the following table:

Input value Return value
Any number Same number
A recognized date A date in Excel serial number format
TRUE 1
FALSE 0
An error code (#VALUE, #N/A, etc) Same error code
Other values 0

In most cases, using the N function is unnecessary, because Excel automatically converts values when needed.

The N function is provided for compatibility with other spreadsheet programs.

Note: you should know there is a tricky use of N() that allows you to use it as a way to leave in-cell comments. The technique:  add a plus sign at the end of your formula with a comment as text in quotes inside the N() function like so:

=SUM(A1:A10) + N(“This is my comment about this SUM function”)

When you click on that cell, you’ll see both the formula and the comment in the formula bar. The N() function has no impact on the result of the function. In fact, you can add more than one N() function to a formula to annotate other functions, constants, or both.