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At first glance the Excel TEXT function appears quite limited. Its purpose is to convert numbers to text in a specific/custom format.

There are two key points here:

The numbers become text. This means you can’t use them in any math type of formulas.

On the upside you can format the numbers anyway you want…almost!

Hold up!

Why would you want to convert a number into text when it means you then can’t use that number in any math calculations/formulas?

Wouldn’t you just format the cell with the number format you want?

The answer is ‘yes’ most of the time, but I’ll show you a clever use for it in a moment.

Excel TEXT Function

First, the syntax is:

TEXT(value, format_text)

Where the value is the number or reference to the cell containing the number you want to format, and format_text is the format you want, enclosed in double quotes.

Let’s look at some examples.

Excel TEXT Formula Examples

Example 1 – Format as a Currency.

If you don’t know the character codes to use you can refer to the Format Cells dialog box (CTRL+1 to open it) to get the number format ‘code’ (that is the \$#,##0.00 part) you need:

You can use any number formats for the format_text argument that you find in the Format Cells dialog box under the ‘Number’ tab.

Or you can write your own custom format.

If you’re new to custom number formats check out my comprehensive guide to custom number formats.

Example 2 – Formatted as a date with hyphens instead of the Excel standard forward slash.

Note: 41640 in cell A5 is the serial number for the date 1st Jan 2014. More on understanding dates in Excel here.

Example 3 – Display day of the week.

Again we’ve taken a date in cell A6 and with the TEXT function we’ve only displayed the day of the week. If you wanted to display the full name of the day you would use “dddd”.

This is handy for invoice numbers or other numbers/codes that require a leading zero.

Limitations of TEXT Formulas

As I mentioned at the beginning, the above examples all convert the numbers in column A to text in column B.

Examples 3 and 4 are ok formatted as text (the day of the week and leading zeros) as they are unlikely to ever be used in a math formula so having them as text won’t cause you a problem.

But it’s not ideal for examples 1 and 2 (format as currency and date), as it’s likely you’ll want to perform a calculation using those numbers at some point in your worksheet’s life.

A better option for examples 1 and 2 is to just apply the number format to the cell in column A.

Combine Text and Numbers in One Cell

I think the best use of the TEXT function is to use it to combine text and numbers in one cell.

As you can see in cell A16 below:

In the formula bar you can see I’ve used the ampersand symbol (&) to combine the text, “Sales up” and “Since 2010”, with the number returned by the TEXT function, which I’ve formatted as a percentage:

="Sales up "&

TEXT(B14/B11-1,"0%")

&" Since 2010"

Which results in one text string:

Sales up 95% Since 2010

You’ll notice in this example I’ve also performed a calculation for the value argument of the TEXT function, which is then formatted as a percentage:

TEXT(

B14/B11-1

,"0%")

Which results in:

95%

The benefit of using a formula for the value argument is that any changes in the data will automatically be reflected in my statement in cell A16.

Bonus Trick

Now you can link cell A16 to your chart title and not only will the chart update if the numbers change, but so will the title:

To link the chart title to cell A16:

Press ENTER

Crazy TEXT Function Trick

At the very beginning I said the TEXT function converts a number to text which means you can’t perform any math calculations on the results.

However, in this video Mike Girvin, of Excel Is Fun, shows a crazy trick (at 3:30) with the TEXT function to convert a date into the right format. Even MrExcel doesn’t believe it will work:

Explanation: in the video Mike performs a calculation on the text function which in turn converts the value in the cell back to a number.

Similarly, you can also convert a cell containing a text function back to a number by multiplying the cell by 1, or add 0, or use the VALUE function, to name a few.

Note: There are some limitations to this. For example you can’t convert the text ‘Wed’ in example 3 above back to a number, but you can for the other examples.

You're reading Excel Text Function – Handy But Limited…Or Is It?

## How To Use Excel Rand Function?

Excel functions, formula, charts, formatting creating excel dashboard & others

RAND in Excel

Rand function in Excel generates random numbers. As the function’s name is RAND, which is used short for Random value, the RAND function generates values between 0 and 1 only. The important thing about the RAND function is the generated value by this function always generates a unique value that is never repeated in the same iterations.

Below is the RAND Formula:

This function does not include any of the arguments; it assumes numbers greater than or equal to zero but less than 1. Unlike the RANDOMBETWEEN function, we need not specify the bottom value and top value of the RAND function. The range of these numbers varies between 0 and 0.99999999…

As an analyst and Excel trainer, it is always a handy function to generate some quick numbers to teach my students. However, it is not the most used formula in corporate offices because the need for RAND function may not arise at all for somebody in the office.

How to Use the RAND Function in Excel?

This function is very simple and easy to use. Let us now see how to use the RAND Function with the help of some examples.

You can download this RAND Function in Excel Template here – RAND Function in Excel Template

Example #1

As a trainer to teach the SUM function to my students, I need to generate some numbers from 0 to less than 1. I quickly do that with the RAND function.

Here I have generated numbers from A2 to E17 and applied the SUM formula for each column in row 18. SUM is taking the range as A2:A17, B2:B17, and so on until E2:E17.

The Answer I got is mentioned in the below image.

Example #2

Assume you are running a lottery shop, and you need to assign some of the numbers against each lottery ticket and select only the numbers greater than 0.95.

Now, we need to generate numbers and chose the winner. Let us go ahead and apply the RAND function to generate numbers.

Note: Since RAND is a volatile function, once you generate the numbers, copy and paste only values using the paste special method.

Now we have generated random numbers in column C.

The winner will be declared if the RAND number is bigger than 0.95.

Now, again we need to apply one more formula to get this done and declare the winner. We need to use the IF condition to declare the winner.

IF condition done here is testing whether the values in column C are greater than or equal to zero and if that logical test is true.

Then it will return the result as Winner. In the above table, the winner is Rihu. Since her score is greater than 0.95, so the formula declared her as the Winner.

If the logical result is false

Then it will return the result as Better Luck Next Time.

Example #3

Using this function, we can generate numbers that are less than 1. What if we want to generate an integer number less than 100? In order to generate random numbers from 10 to 100, we need to use the function INT to get the numbers that are full numbers, i.e. no decimals in place.

Here INT function eliminates the decimal places, and our highest value is 100, and our lowest value is 10.

Things to Remember

It is one of the many volatile functions in Excel. It keeps varying if there are any cell value changes within the Excel worksheet.

Since it is a volatile function, it may reduce the speed of the workbook.

Turn off auto calculation in Excel to avoid volatile changes in the formula.

It is a useful formula to use when you want to generate random percentages from 0% to 100%.

Use the key to change the RAND from formula to value. Edit the formula and press F9.

You need to do the paste special option to eliminate the volatility of the function. Copy the data and paste it as values only.

If you want to generate the two random, numbers use the RANDOMBETWEEN formula, which requires both the bottom value and the highest value in a single formula.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to RAND Function. Here we discuss the RAND Formula and how to use RAND Function along with practical examples and downloadable Excel templates. You can also go through our other suggested articles –

## Alt Text: What It Is & How To Write

In this guide, you will learn about alternative text (alt text): what it is, why it is important for SEO, how to use it correctly, and more!

What Is Alt Text?

Alt text (or alternative text), also known as the alt attribute or the alt tag (which is not technically correct because it is not a tag), is simply a piece of text that describes the image in the HTML code.

What Are The Uses Of Alt Text?

The first function of alt text was simply to describe an image that could not be loaded.

Many years ago, when the internet was much slower, alt text would help you know the content of an image that was too heavy to be loaded in your browser.

Today, images rarely fail to load, but if they do, then it is the alt text that you will see in place of an image.

Now, alt text has also started to play a role for both search engine bots and people using screen readers:

Alt text helps people with disabilities (for example, using screen readers) learn about the image’s content.

Alt text also helps search engine bots understand the image’s content and context.

Of course, like every element of SEO, it is often misused or, in some cases, even abused.

Let’s now take a closer look at why alt text is important.

Why Alt Text Is Important

That’s why alt text is very important.

Alt text helps translate the image’s content into words – thus making the image accessible to a wider audience, including people with disabilities and search engine bots that are not clever enough yet to fully understand every image, its context, and its meaning.

Why Alt Text Is Important For SEO

Alt text is an important element of on-page SEO optimization.

Proper alt text optimization makes your website stand a better chance of ranking in Google image search.

Yes, alt text is a ranking factor for Google image search.

Depending on your website’s niche and specificity, Google image search traffic may play a huge role in your website’s overall success.

For example, in the case of ecommerce websites, users very often start their search for products with a Google image search instead of typing the product name into the standard Google search.

Google and other search engines may display fewer product images (or not display them at all) if you fail to take care of their alt text optimization.

Without proper image optimization, you may lose a lot of potential traffic and customers.

Why Alt Text Is Important For Accessibility

Visibility in Google image search is very important, but there is an even more important consideration: accessibility.

Fortunately, in recent years, more focus and emphasis has been put on accessibility (i.e., making the web accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities or/and using screen readers).

Suppose alt text of your images actually describes their content instead of – for example – stuffing keywords. In that case, you are helping people who cannot see this image to better understand it and the content of the entire web page.

Let’s say one of your web pages is an SEO audit guide that contains screenshots from various crawling tools.

Would it not be better to describe the content of each screenshot instead of placing the same alt text of “SEO audit” into every image?

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Alt Text Examples

Finding many good and bad examples of alt text is not difficult. Let me show you a few, sticking to the above example with an SEO audit guide.

Good Alt Text Examples

So, our example SEO guide contains screenshots from tools, such as Google Search Console and Screaming Frog.

Some good examples of alt text may include:

Tip: It is also a good idea to take care of the name of your file. Using descriptive file names is not a ranking factor, but I recommend this as a good SEO practice.

Bad And/Or Spammy Alt Text Examples

I’ve also seen many examples of bad alt text use, including keyword stuffing or spamming.

Here is how you can turn the above good examples into bad examples:

As you can see, the above examples do not really provide any information on what these images actually show.

You can also find examples and even more image SEO tips on Google Search Central.

Common Alt Text Mistakes

Stuffing keywords in the alt text is not the only mistake you can make.

Here are a few examples of common alt text mistakes:

Failure to use the alt text or using empty alt text.

Using the same alt text for different images.

Using very general alt text that does not actually describe the image. For example, using the alt text of “dog” on the photo of a dog instead of describing the dog in more detail, its color, what it is doing, what breed it is, etc.

Automatically using the name of the file as the alt text – which may lead to very unfriendly alt text, such as “googleseachconsole” or “google-search-console” or “photo2323,” depending on the name of the file.

Alt Text Writing Tips

And finally, here are the tips on how to write correct alt text so that it actually fulfills its purpose:

Do not stuff keywords into the alt text. It won’t help your web page rank for these stuffed keywords.

Describe the image in detail, but still keep it relatively short. Avoid adding multiple sentences into the alt text.

Use your target keywords, but in a natural way, as part of the image’s description. If your target keyword does not fit into the image’s description, don’t use it.

Don’t use text on images. All text should be added in the form of HTML code.

Don’t write “this is an image of.” Google and users know that this is an image. Just describe its content.

Make sure you can visualize the image’s content by just reading its alt text. That is the best exercise to make sure your alt text is OK.

How To Check If A Page Uses The Alt Text

Now you know all the best practices and common mistakes of alt text. But how do you actually check what’s in the alt text of the images of a website?

You can analyze the alt text in the following ways:

However, if you want to check that in bulk, I recommend one of the below two methods.

Install Web Developer Chrome extension.

Next, open the page whose images you want to audit.

To check the alt text of the images of the entire website, use a crawler like Screaming Frog or Sitebulb.

Crawl the site, navigate to the image report, and review the alt text of all website images.

More resources:

Featured Image: Khosro/Shutterstock

## Pee Makes For Great Fertilizer. But Is It Safe?

The world is in a fertilizer shortage. The dilemma is linked to the war in Ukraine, which affects the export of ingredients like potash and phosphate. The fertilizer price has increased by around 30 percent since the year began, heightening the cost of food. Rising fertilizer costs are also threatening to cause food shortages in developing countries.

Farmers need to fertilize crops to keep food supplies at adequate levels. New research shows our own waste could be an efficient tool for accomplishing this—specifically human urine.

Researchers from the National Institute of Agricultural Research of Niger recently published research on using urine as a fertilizer for pearl millet crops, a grain commonly grown in the region. Urine contains phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen, which are widely used for growing crops. The scientists treated the urine and tried using it as fertilizer over three years and found it increased yields by roughly 30 percent.

The scientists treated the urine by simply storing it at just above 70 degrees Fahrenheit for two to three months. The pH of the urine increases over time as urea, a nitrogenous compound, hydrolyzes to ammonia, which sanitizes the urine. It can then be used as a fertilizer.

The thought of pee on plants may conjure up images of dead grass where dogs have relieved themselves, but that’s because of the salt content in the urine hitting the living parts of a plant. Treavor Boyer, an associate professor of sustainable engineering at Arizona State University who was not involved in the previously mentioned study, tells Popular Science. It’s about how you use the urine.

“Salt on leaves and stems does burn the plant. That’s the biggest challenge. The urine has salts in it,” Boyer says. “If you’re applying liquid urine with the salts in it, you want to not necessarily spray it on the plants but apply it to the ground so it gets to the roots. If there’s enough irrigation in place, that will wash away the salts because they’re pretty mobile in the soil. They don’t stick around. And then the nutrients stick around in the soil.”

[Related: Diverse microbes are key to healthy soil. Climate change is threatening that.]

Nancy Love, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Michigan who was also not involved in the study, tells Popular Science that using urine as a fertilizer appears to be relatively safe when adequately treated. She says any viruses and bacteria in the urine, like E. coli, that might be worrisome aren’t a problem for humans following the treatment process. In her lab, they actually pasteurize the urine using heat to treat the urine instead of simply storing it.

One problem, Love says, is the “ick factor.” People don’t like the idea of eating food that was grown using a urine-based fertilizer. People may not understand that it’s being treated and isn’t going to make them sick. Love says it’s simply a messaging problem, but urine can also be used to fertilize crops that aren’t going to become food for humans as well.

“It could be used for fertilizing food for animals that then become food or in other places where you’re fertilizing non-food crops,” Love says.

Historically, urine has been used as a fertilizer for thousands of years in parts of Africa and Asia. Today, urine-as-fertilizer is seeing a bit of a resurgence. Pilot projects are popping up across the US, Europe, and Africa. Many are interested in replacing chemical fertilizers because the production of synthetic nitrogen found in these fertilizers contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, which is not an issue with urine.

These projects are small, but Boyer says we could increase the scale if we had more waterless urinals that can capture and divert urine without dilution.

“In the US, we have waterless urinals, but they’re really only used for water conservation. They’re not really used as part of a urine collection system,” Boyer says. “We need to have plumbing fixtures in place that can allow us to collect urine separately from the rest of the wastewater. That urine would have to be stored in a building, likely, and then used on site in a small manner or there needs to be a logistic system in place to gather that urine and use it in a beneficial way that starts to become economical.”

Love says it’s not likely that urine-based fertilizer will take the world by storm any time soon, and it’s also not likely we’ll start replacing every urinal with one that could help accomplish these goals. Still, pee-collecting urinals could become more commonplace in new and remodeled buildings.

## Excel Text To Columns To Correct Date Formats

If you work in Excel with data imported from other databases you’ll often find it doesn’t import it in the format you want.

For example, I imported some Google Analytics data about our website traffic and the dates are formatted like this:

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

And because Excel only sees these dates as text it means I can’t use them in formulas, PivotTables, Charts or any other tool in Excel that recognises dates.

To re-jig the dates we need to do a few steps.  We’ll separate the data in column A (where our dates are) into 3 columns; month, day and year. And we’ll get rid of the day name.

We’ll then join these values back together again using a formula to create one date that is recognised by Excel.

How to Fix Dates Formatted as Text

1.     Select the dates you want to fix.

4.     Select the Comma Delimiter and Space Delimiter. We’re selecting both because our data is separated by commas and spaces. You’ll also notice the ‘Treat consecutive delimiters as one’ box is checked. This just ignores additional spaces in your data so you don’t end up with extra columns.

You can see in the preview window that Excel has removed the commas and inserted columns.

We’re selecting to skip the first column, and we’ll leave the other 3 columns as a general format and we’re going to insert the data beginning in cell D2.

Note: Although there is an option to tell Excel that these columns are date formats it isn’t any use to us because each column only has one component of the date, and so Excel doesn’t have enough information to insert the date correctly.

Now our data looks like this, with the original data in column A and the split data in columns D, E and F.

Troubleshooting: If you find your text has come across in a date format it’s because the destination cells were already formatted as a date. You need to format them as ‘General’ before doing Text to Columns.

6.       The last step is to insert a DATE formula that joins our data back together in a date format.

The syntax for the DATE function is:

=DATE(year, month, day)

And our formula is:

=DATE(F2,MONTH(1&D2),E2)

The DATE function tells Excel that the value is a date.

You’ll notice that we’ve had to do a bit of jiggery pokery with the month because it’s text. i.e. the word ‘February’, but Excel needs February represented as the number 2 for the DATE formula to work.

We use the MONTH function to convert the name of the month to a number. The syntax for the MONTH function is:

=MONTH(serial_number)

Our formula is:

=MONTH(1&D2)

Where D2 contains the text ‘February’.

This formula works by telling Excel that there is a date ‘1 February’, which it then converts to the month number ‘2’.

And voila, now we have our date correctly formatted in column G.

Note: before we can go and delete columns D, E and F we need to copy and paste our dates in column G as values. Then we can delete any of the columns we don’t need.

Now, this may seem like a convoluted method, and to a degree it is. But once you get to grips with it you should be able to change a whole column of dates to the correct format in under 1 minute.

## Your Account Access Is Temporarily Limited • Paypal Guides

[SOLVED] Your account access is temporarily limited

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When you get the dreaded Your account access is temporarily limited PayPal email, most of the time, it’s the beginning of the end of your PayPal account. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

PayPal is the favorite payment method for most online shoppers as well as businesses. It simplifies transactions by only requiring the payer to enter his or her email address.

The simplicity and tons of other benefits are the reasons payers love PayPal.

However, businesses don’t like leaving huge sums in their PayPal accounts because they know that they can be hit with Your account access is temporarily limited email at any time.

When you see this message, you won’t be able to carry out some basic actions on your account.

If the issue is not resolved, in time you will use access to all the funds stored in your account.

The only thing the message tells you for sure is that your account has activities or transactions that go out of line with PayPal policies.

What does it mean your PayPal account is temporarily limited?

1. How can I resolve the Paypal account temporarily limited issue?

To resolve this issue, you will need to also understand the reasons for it occurring in the first place.

Here are the most possible reasons for which your PayPal account could be temporarily limited:

For Business PayPal accounts, you can get this error message if you begin to sell new products or offer new services.

Similar to the situation above, if the volume of your sales suddenly spikes, PayPal can also flag your account.

Your account access can get temporarily limited also if you haven’t logged in to the account or carried out any transaction on it since your registration.

This is a security measure for dormant accounts.

Your PayPal account is temporarily limited to protect it

Sometimes, your account access is temporarily limited by PayPal for your own protection.

When the system notices that an unauthorized user logs in to your account, it limits your account from making transactions.

PayPal’s system determines unauthorized access mostly when the login was from a foreign location.

If you’re going to travel out of your country, it’s best to let PayPal know about it beforehand.

2. How to remove your account access is limited in PayPal

The same way the reasons for limitations vary, that’s how different the solutions are.

Thankfully, the Your account access is temporarily limited email hints on how to lift the PayPal limits for your unique case.

Some of the most common resolutions are as follows:

Visit the Resolution Center

To lift the limits, you may be instructed to go to the PayPal Resolution Center. On this page, you will have more insight into the root of the problem.

The Resolution Center also tells you how you can remove the limits.

If the limitation was to protect your account, you may need to provide PayPal with some documents to prove that you are the legitimate owner of the account.

On the Summary page, you will see a notification to inform you of this resolution. It also shows you the required steps and documents to provide.

Most times, the proof of identity could be a copy of a Government-issued ID card, such as driver’s license, international passport, or ID card.

If you’ve completed the solutions and still have limits on your PayPal account, check your inbox for an email from PayPal requesting for additional information.

Alternatively, your account access may be temporarily limited still because they are reviewing your submitted documents, and you just have to wait a little more.

If your submitted documents don’t pass PayPal’s review or the work in the Resolution Center fails, your account access won’t be temporarily limited but permanent, and you’ll not be able to access it again.