# Will a calculated column formula interpret number strings as numbers?

This is my first time using calculated columns. I have a calculated column that is a number field, that is calculating it's value based on two other columns that are choice columns.

I know that behind the scenes, choice column values are stored as strings. However, in this case, both of the choice column options are just the numbers 1 through 5.

When setting up my calculation formula, will the formula interpret the number string values of the choice fields as numbers, or do I have to treat them as strings?

Specifically, can I treat the value as a number and do

``````=IF([ChoiceField1]<=2, 0, {nested IF if false})
``````

or do I have to treat the value as a string and do

``````=IF(OR([ChoiceField1]="1",[ChoiceField1]="2"), 0, {nested IF if false})
``````
• Same like Excel Formulas or any other programming language. A Text String is not a Number. FYI this CalcMaster Bookmarklet helps a lot in working/testing Formulas Jul 29, 2015 at 15:31
• @DannyEngelman, not like any other programming language. Javascript will do implicit conversion, so `1 == "1"` is true and `1 + "1"` is `2`. Hence the reason for my question. Jul 29, 2015 at 15:35
• Darn, there are real programmers hanging around here ;-) Jul 29, 2015 at 16:59

You cannot use it as a number. You have to "convert" your value to numeric in order to make the validation, otherwise it will be "false".

You can use the VALUE function to convert a text representation of a number, or simply add a number to your value to get it interpreted as numeric.

``````=IF([ChoiceField1]+0<=2, 0, {nested IF if false})
``````

or

``````=IF(VALUE([ChoiceField1])<=2, 0, {nested IF if false})
``````

The VALUE function Works with number, date or time.

https://support.office.com/en-za/article/VALUE-function-1fc46e51-4a25-4ba0-bce2-512dd5d4d872

• Interesting. So the formula will do Javascript-style implicit conversion, but only if you add a number to the string value. So strange. Jul 29, 2015 at 17:35