CONVERT: Google Sheets Formulae Explained

Google Sheets, a cloud-based spreadsheet program from Google, offers a wide range of functions that can help you manage, analyze, and manipulate data effectively. One such powerful function is the CONVERT formula, a versatile tool that can transform different units of measurement into each other. This function can be a game-changer for professionals in fields such as finance, engineering, data analysis, and more, where conversions are a routine part of the job.

Understanding the CONVERT Function

The CONVERT function in Google Sheets is a built-in formula that allows you to convert a number from one unit of measurement to another. It can handle a wide variety of units, including those related to distance, time, weight, pressure, force, energy, power, magnetism, temperature, and more.

This function can be particularly useful when dealing with international data, where measurements might be recorded in different units. For example, you might need to convert temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius, distances from miles to kilometers, or weights from pounds to kilograms. The CONVERT function can handle all these conversions and more, making it a versatile tool for data manipulation.

Using the CONVERT Function

The basic syntax of the CONVERT function is as follows:

=CONVERT(number, "from_unit", "to_unit")

Here, 'number' is the value that you want to convert. 'from_unit' and 'to_unit' are the units that you want to convert from and to, respectively. Both these units should be input as text strings, enclosed in quotation marks.

Example of a Basic Conversion

Let's say you have a distance of 100 miles that you want to convert into kilometers. You would use the CONVERT function as follows:

=CONVERT(100, "mi", "km")

This formula will return the equivalent distance in kilometers. Note that "mi" stands for miles and "km" stands for kilometers. Google Sheets has specific abbreviations for each unit of measurement, which you need to use when working with the CONVERT function.

Handling Errors

If you input an incorrect unit or a unit that the CONVERT function does not support, Google Sheets will return an error. For example, if you try to convert miles into liters (which is not a valid conversion), the function will return an #N/A error.

To avoid errors, make sure that you are using the correct abbreviations for each unit and that the conversion you are trying to make is valid. You can find a complete list of supported units and their abbreviations in the Google Sheets documentation.

Advanced Usage of the CONVERT Function

While the CONVERT function is straightforward to use for basic conversions, it also supports more advanced usage scenarios. Here are a few examples.

Converting Multiple Units

You can use the CONVERT function to convert multiple units at once. For example, if you have a list of distances in miles and you want to convert all of them into kilometers, you can do so with a single formula.

To do this, you would input the range of cells containing the distances as the 'number' argument in the CONVERT function. The function will then return an array of converted values, which will fill the corresponding range of cells in your spreadsheet.

Converting Between Complex Units

The CONVERT function can also handle conversions between complex units, such as speed or pressure. For example, you can convert from miles per hour to kilometers per hour, or from pounds per square inch to pascals.

To do this, you would input the units as compound text strings in the 'from_unit' and 'to_unit' arguments. For example, to convert a speed of 60 miles per hour into kilometers per hour, you would use the following formula:

=CONVERT(60, "mi/hr", "km/hr")

This formula will return the equivalent speed in kilometers per hour.


The CONVERT function in Google Sheets is a powerful tool that can help you handle a wide variety of unit conversions. Whether you're dealing with basic conversions like miles to kilometers or more complex ones like miles per hour to kilometers per hour, this function has got you covered.

By understanding how to use the CONVERT function effectively, you can save time, reduce errors, and make your data analysis tasks much easier. So the next time you're faced with a unit conversion challenge, remember to give the CONVERT function a try!

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