Chapter 6. Conversions and Mathematical Calculations

This part provides you with a variety of handy measurement conversion tables and several calculations that you might find useful as you work away in Excel 2010.

Tips and Where to Find Them

  • Tip 126 Converting Between Measurement Systems 273

  • Tip 127 Converting Temperatures 275

  • Tip 128 Solving Simultaneous Equations 276

  • Tip 129 Solving Recursive Equations 278

  • Tip 130 Generating Random Numbers 280

  • Tip 131 Calculating Roots 282

  • Tip 132 Calculating a Remainder 283

Converting Between Measurement Systems

You know the distance from New York to London in miles, but your European office needs the numbers in kilometers. What's the conversion factor?

The Excel CONVERT function can convert between a variety of measurements in these categories:

  • Weight and mass

  • Distance

  • Time

  • Pressure

  • Force

  • Energy

  • Power

  • Magnetism

  • Temperature

  • Liquid measures


In versions prior to Excel 2007, the CONVERT function required the Analysis ToolPak add-in. This useful function is now built in, and an add-in is not required.

The CONVERT function requires three arguments: the value to be converted, the from-unit, and the to-unit. For example, if cell A1 contains a distance expressed in miles, use this formula to convert miles to kilometers:


The second and third arguments are unit abbreviations, which are listed in the Help system. Some abbreviations are commonly used, but others aren't. And, of course, you must use the exact abbreviation. Furthermore, the unit abbreviations ...

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