How to use UNICODE Function in Excel

The Excel UNICODE function returns a number (code point) corresponding to a Unicode character in decimal format. Unicode is computing standard for the unified encoding, representation, and handling of text in most of the world’s writing systems.

Like ASCII, Unicode is a character set. However, Unicode is a very large character set, because Unicode is a superset of other character sets. Whereas ASCII contains 128 characters, Unicode 11.0 (June 2018) contains 137,439 characters covering 146 modern and historic scripts.

Unicode can be implemented in different encodings, for example UTF-8, UTF-16, etc. UTF-8 dominates the web. It is estimated that over 90% of websites use UTF-8. The first 128 Unicode code points are the ASCII characters.

Syntax:= UNICODE (text)

The UNICODE function syntax has the following arguments:

  • text – Unicode character to convert to number.

Example: Let’s look at some Excel UNICODE function examples and explore how to use the UNICODE function as a worksheet function in Microsoft Excel:

Syntax:  =UNICODE(A2)


Based on the Excel spreadsheet above, the following UNICODE examples would return:

Syntax: =UNICODE(A3)
Result: 72

Syntax: =UNICODE(A4)
Result: 94

Syntax: =UNICODE(A5)
Result: 36

Syntax: =UNICODE(A6)
Result: 98

Syntax: =UNICODE(A7)
Result: 66

Syntax: =UNICODE(A8)
Result: 79

Syntax: =UNICODE(A9)
Result: 169

Syntax: =UNICODE(A10)
Result: 165

Syntax: =UNICODE(A11)
Result: 8364

Syntax: =UNICODE(A12)
Result: 181

Syntax: =UNICODE(A13)
Result: 174

Syntax: =UNICODE(A14)
Result: 32


  1. #VALUE! error – Occurs when:
    • Unicode numbers are partial surrogates and data types are not valid.
    • Unicode numbers fall outside the range allowed.
  2. The UNICODE function is the opposite of the UNICHAR function.

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