The VALUE function is a critical tool within the Salesforce formula arsenal. It is a function that converts a text string that represents a number into a number. This function is particularly useful when dealing with fields that are text-based but contain numerical values. By converting these text strings into numbers, users can perform a variety of mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Understanding the VALUE function is essential for anyone working with Salesforce formulas. It allows for greater flexibility and precision in data manipulation, enabling users to create more complex and powerful formulas. In this glossary entry, we will delve deep into the VALUE function, exploring its syntax, usage, limitations, and potential errors. We will also provide examples of how this function can be used in real-world scenarios.

## Understanding the VALUE Function

The VALUE function is a text function, meaning it operates on text strings. It takes a single argument, which is a text string that represents a number. The function then attempts to convert this string into a number. If successful, the function returns the numerical value. If the conversion is not possible, the function returns an error.

It’s important to note that the VALUE function only works with text strings that represent numbers. It cannot convert text strings that represent other types of data, such as dates or boolean values. Furthermore, the function can only convert text strings that represent whole numbers or decimal numbers. It cannot convert text strings that represent fractions or numbers in scientific notation.

### Syntax of the VALUE Function

The syntax of the VALUE function is straightforward. It is written as VALUE(text), where ‘text’ is the text string that you want to convert into a number. The ‘text’ argument can be a text field, a text string enclosed in quotation marks, or a formula that returns a text string.

For example, VALUE(“123”) would return the number 123, and VALUE(“123.45”) would return the number 123.45. If the ‘text’ argument is a text field that contains the string “123”, the function would also return the number 123.

### Usage of the VALUE Function

The VALUE function is used whenever there is a need to convert a text string that represents a number into a number. This is often the case when dealing with data that has been imported from external sources, where numerical values may have been stored as text.

For example, suppose you have a text field that contains the string “123.45”, and you want to multiply this value by 2. You could use the formula VALUE(Text_Field__c) * 2 to achieve this. The VALUE function converts the text string “123.45” into the number 123.45, which is then multiplied by 2 to give the result 246.9.

## Limitations of the VALUE Function

While the VALUE function is a powerful tool, it does have certain limitations. As mentioned earlier, it can only convert text strings that represent whole numbers or decimal numbers. It cannot convert text strings that represent fractions or numbers in scientific notation.

Furthermore, the VALUE function can only convert text strings that represent numbers up to 15 digits long. If the text string represents a number that is longer than 15 digits, the function will return an error. This is because Salesforce formulas can only handle numbers up to 15 digits long.

### Handling Errors

If the VALUE function encounters a text string that it cannot convert into a number, it will return a #Error! message. This can happen if the text string does not represent a number, if the number is too long, or if the number is in a format that the function cannot handle, such as a fraction or scientific notation.

To prevent these errors, it’s important to validate your data before using the VALUE function. Make sure that your text strings represent numbers, and that these numbers are in a format that the function can handle. If you’re dealing with long numbers, consider breaking them down into smaller parts before using the VALUE function.

## Examples of the VALUE Function

Let’s look at some examples of how the VALUE function can be used in Salesforce formulas. These examples will illustrate the versatility of this function and provide a better understanding of how it operates.

Example 1: Converting a Text Field to a Number

Suppose you have a text field called Text_Field__c that contains the string “123.45”. You want to convert this string into a number so that you can perform mathematical operations on it. You could use the formula VALUE(Text_Field__c) to achieve this. The function would convert the string “123.45” into the number 123.45.

### Example 2: Performing Mathematical Operations

Suppose you have a text field called Text_Field__c that contains the string “123.45”, and you want to multiply this value by 2. You could use the formula VALUE(Text_Field__c) * 2 to achieve this. The function would convert the string “123.45” into the number 123.45, which would then be multiplied by 2 to give the result 246.9.

Example 3: Combining the VALUE Function with Other Functions

Suppose you have a text field called Text_Field__c that contains the string “123.45”, and you want to round this value to the nearest whole number. You could use the formula ROUND(VALUE(Text_Field__c), 0) to achieve this. The VALUE function would convert the string “123.45” into the number 123.45, which would then be rounded to the nearest whole number to give the result 123.

## Conclusion

The VALUE function is a powerful tool in Salesforce formulas, allowing users to convert text strings that represent numbers into actual numbers. This opens up a world of possibilities for data manipulation and analysis, enabling users to perform mathematical operations on text fields and create more complex formulas.

While the function does have certain limitations, these can be managed with careful data validation and error handling. By understanding how the VALUE function works and how to use it effectively, you can greatly enhance your ability to work with data in Salesforce.