When it comes to measuring distance, height and width, I’m old fashioned. Although we’ve been decimal in the UK since the early 70’s, I’ve been brought up with feet and inches so when someone says “how tall is that cupboard”, I naturally measure in feet and inches. I then get told politely, “and what’s that in metres?”

Using the CONVERT function, you can convert a number from one measurement system to another, for example, feet to metres or feet to inches.

But what if you wanted to convert a feet/inch value (for example, 5ft 3ins) to metres (1.6 metres)?

This tutorial shows you how.

In the screenshot below, B1 contains the number of feet and B2 contains the number of inches.

convert function

The syntax of the CONVERT function is =CONVERT(CELL_REFERENCE,FROM,TO)

CELL_REFERENCE is the cell that contains the value to be converted

FROM and TO are text entries, which must be in quotation marks, that indicate what you are converting from and what you are converting to. For example:

Suppose you have the value 5 in A1

=CONVERT(A1,”ft”,”m”) will tell you how metres there are in 5 feet (or to put it another way, it converts 5 feet to metres).

My example is a little more complex because I have feet and inches. The formula in B11 converts 5 feet 3 inches to metres.

I calculated it by converting to inches first and then converting the inches to metres.

There are 12 inches in 1 foot so I used the formula (B1*12)+B2 to work out the number of inches

The formula in B11 is =CONVERT((B1*12)+B2,”in”,”m”)