Excel does not recognize hexadecimal values as numeric values. It has a function to convert hex values to decimal values but not one to convert them to ASCII values. To use special characters in Excel Cells, we will need the help of ASCII codes. They provide more meaning to the information and also make data easier to understand.

## Hexadecimal numbering system

The hexadecimal numbering system utilizes the **Base 16 system**, meaning it has 16 possible digit symbols.

It uses 16 symbols which are **{0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F} **to represent all numbers. The **{A, B, C, D, E, F}** stands for **{10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15}**.

## ASCII

**ASCII** is the acronym for **American Standard Code for Information Interchange**. It is a standard that allocates numbers, letters, and other characters within the range of the 256 spaces available in the 8-bit code. It ranges from 00 to FF in Hexadecimal. For example, the Hexadecimal value of “30” is the value “0” in ASCII.

Given a hexadecimal value, many people resort to going to the web to look up ASCII character code charts.

It would be more convenient if this could be done automatically in Excel.

## 2 Methods of converting hexadecimal values to ASCII in Excel

In this tutorial we will look at the following 2 methods of converting Hex values to ASCII:

- Use
**HEX2DEC**and**CHAR**functions - Use
**Excel VBA Code**

**Method 1- Use HEX2DEC and CHAR functions**

This method works by first converting the hexadecimal value to a decimal value and then finally converting the decimal value to an **ASCII** value.

We will use the following dataset to show how this can be done:

**Step 1** – Select **Cell B3 **and key in the formula =HEX2DEC(A3) as follows:

**Step 2** – Press the Enter key and use the **Fill Handle** to copy the formula down:

**Step 3** – Select **Cell C3 **and enter the formula =CHAR(B3) as follows:

**Step 4** – Press Enter key and drag down the **Fill Handle** to copy the formula to other cells as follows:

The **CHAR** function returns the character specified by the code number from the character set of your computer. It can be seen that the hexadecimal value “30” has been converted to the **ASCII** value of “0”, and so on.

**Method 2 – Use Excel VBA Code**

This method will require that one has a working knowledge of Excel VBA.

We will use the following dataset to demonstrate how this method works:

We will use a **User Defined Function** to convert hexadecimal values into ASCII values by doing the following steps:

**Step 1** – Press **Alt + F11** to open the **Visual Basic Editor**:

**Step 2** – In the **Project Window** right click your worksheet and insert a new module.

**Step 3** – In the new module, enter the following code:

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Public Function HEX2ASCII(ByVal hextext As String) As String Dim y As Integer Dim num As Integer Dim Value As Integer For y = 1 To Len(hextext) num = Mid(hextext, y, 2) Value = Value & Chr(Val("&h" & num)) y = y + 1 Next y HEX2ASCII = Value End Function |

**Step 4** – Save the workbook and switch back to the active worksheet by pressing **Alt + F11**

**Step 5** – Select **Cell B3** in the dataset and enter the formula =Hex2ASCII(A3) as follows:

**Step 6** – Press the Enter key and drag down the **Fill Handle**:

The hexadecimal values are converted to ASCII values. You can use this User Defined Function to convert any hexadecimal value to an ASCII value.