How to Convert Decimals to Fractions in Excel

This guide will explain how you can convert decimals to fractions in Excel.

Excel includes functions and custom format options that you can use to convert decimal values into a fraction format.

Excel spreadsheets often use data in decimal form. However, you may still require using fractional values in your spreadsheets. For example, cooking recipes often use fractions in their instructions. 

Since fractional data is simply decimal data re-formatted as a fraction, Excel provides an option to convert between the two. Let’s take a look at a quick scenario where we might need to convert decimals into a fraction value.

You have a dataset that includes a list of lap times for a racing event. Each row consists of the name of the driver and their lap time in seconds. For example, your sheet indicates that driver A had the best lap time among the competition at 75.255 seconds. 

You are tasked to provide the fractional equivalent of the decimal numbers in another column. The lap time of driver A should show up as 75 ¼ seconds and so on. How can we do this in Excel?

With Excel’s number format commands, you can convert your decimals into fractions. We can also use the more advanced Custom Format options to specify how accurate the final fraction should be.

We also have the option to use the TEXT function. This allows us to set a column that dynamically formats data from a specific cell range. 

Now that we know what options we have to format and convert decimals to fractions, let’s look at how these tools can be used on an actual sample spreadsheet.

Now that we know what methods to use when you need to convert to fractions, let’s look at how it works on an actual sample spreadsheet.



A Real Example of Converting Decimal to Fraction in Excel

Let’s take a look at a real example of a spreadsheet that converts decimals to fractions.

In the example below, we have a list of driver lap times around a specific racetrack. Values in column B are decimal values indicating lap times. Each lap time is converted into a fraction in column C. 

Convert Decimal to Fraction in Excel


Each fraction in the table above is an approximation that uses the least number of digits. For example, 75 ⅔ is actually 75.6666… in decimal. Most conversions to fractions will include some amount of differences in the actual value. However, since the fractions are only a formatting option, the original value does not change.

To get the values in Column C, we just need to use the following formula:

=TEXT(B2,"0 00/00")

Alternatively, we can use number format options to achieve the same effect.

If you want a more precise fraction, we can use up to two digits using the following formula:

=TEXT(B2, "0 00/00")

You can make your own copy of the spreadsheet above using the link attached below. 

Are you ready to try out the TEXT function and number formatting to convert decimals to fractions in Excel? Read the next section to find out how to do this step-by-step.



How to Convert Decimals to Fractions in Excel

This section will guide you through each step needed to start using the number formatting in Excel. You’ll learn how we can use the TEXT function and number formatting options to convert values with decimal places to a fraction.

First, follow these steps to start using the TEXT function:

  1. Select the cell that will hold our TEXT function. In this example, we’ll start with cell C2.
    select the cell to place the text function
  2. Next, type the TEXT function in the formula bar and place the necessary arguments. The first argument should be the original decimal value. The second argument should hold the string that determines how the decimal will be formatted. In this example, we’ve used the string ‘0 0/0’. This indicates we want a fraction with a single digit in the numerator and denominator.
    drag down formula to fill rest of column
  3. Drag down the formula to fill up the rest of the column.
    drag down formula to fill rest of column
  4.  Adjusting the second argument in TEXT can give you more accurate fractions. In the example below, we used the string ‘0 0/00’ to include denominators with up to two digits.
    Convert Decimal to Fraction in Excel and choose precision


Next, follow these steps to start adding number formatting options in cells:

  1. First, select the cell range that you want to convert into a fraction.  In this example, we’ll be converting the range C2:C9.
    select copy of decimal values
  2. Next, click on the Fraction option in the dropdown menu seen in the Number section of the Home tab.
    select Fraction option
  3. Your values should now be formatted as a fraction.
    Convert Decimal to Fraction in Excel
  4. We can add more accurate fractions by selecting the More Number Formats… option in the dropdown menu.
    select More Number Formats
  5. You can select various types of fractions in the dialog box. Once you’ve selected a type, click on the OK button.
    select number of digits to place in fraction
  6. In the example below, you can see how different fraction formatting options can return different results.
    Convert Decimals to Fractions in Excel



Our step-by-step guide should be all you need to convert decimal to fractions in Excel. This article has shown how you can convert to fractions using the TEXT function and using Excel’s number formatting options.

The TEXT function can be used to perform many other formatting tasks in Excel. We can use the function to convert dates, times, percentages, and more. The function is just one of many powerful functions that can help improve your worksheet. With so many other Excel functions available, you can surely find one that suits your use case. 

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