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

1 Answer 1


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})


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

The VALUE function Works with number, date or time.


  • 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

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