How to use the DEC2OCT Function in Excel

In this article, we will learn about how to use the DEC2OCT function in Excel.

DEC2OCT function in excel is used to convert decimal representation of numbers of radix 10 to octal numbers (radix = 8).

The table shown below shows you some of the most used base & their radix of Alpha - numeric characters

Base radix Alpha-Numeric Characters
octal 2 0 - 1
Octal 8 0 - 7
Decimal 10 0 - 9
hexadecimal 16 0 - 9 & A - F
hexatridecimal 36 0 - 9 & A - Z

Decimal number is representation of a number of radix 10. 10 digits are used in representation of a decimal number 0 - 9. Where as octal number representation have only 8 digits from 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. The below table will help you understand better

Decimal Octal
0 0
1 1
2 2
3 3
4 4
5 5
6 6
7 7
8 10

You can see from the above table that decimal value 8 converted to octal comes out to be 10.

The DEC2OCT function converts the decimal number of radix 10 to the octal number of radix 2.

=DEC2OCT ( number, [Places] )

Number : decimal number which is to be converted to octal
[Places] : [optional] number where result expressed upto the number.
The input decimal number to the function should be between - 536870912 to + 536870911. The resulting octal number will have upto 10 characters (10 bits), where first number express the sign of the number (positive or negative) & Other 9 express the value after the sign. ( 1 for negative & 0 for positive)
To get the octal number, [places] number must have have sufficient places to express the octal number or else it returns the #NUM! Error. The decimal negative number is processed using two's complement notation and ignore [places] number.

Now let’s get more understanding of the function via using them in some examples.
Here we have some octal values in octal Column. We need to convert these octal numbers to decimal value.

Use the formula in Decimal column:


A2 : number provided to the function as cell reference

Values to the DEC2OCT function is provided as cell reference.
The octal representation of 2 of base 10 (decimal) is 2 of base 8 (octal).

Now copy the formula to other cells using the Ctrl + D shortcut key.
As you can see here the DEC2OCT function returns the results of the input values.

  1. Numbers can be given as argument to the function directly without quotes or cell reference in excel.
  2. The function doesn’t consider the [places] number in case of a negative decimal number.
  3. The number must be a valid decimal number between - 536870912 to + 536879011.
  4. If the input [places] number is not an integer, it is truncated by the function.
  5. The function returns the octal value for the max value of + 3777777777 & minimum value upto - 4000000000.
  6. The function returns the #NUM! Error
    1. If the input decimal number is less than - 536870912 or greater than + 536879011.
    2. If the input number [places] is zero or negative.
    3. If the input number [places] is not sufficient for the resulting positive octal number.
  7. The function returns the #VALUE! Error
    1. If the input number is text or non-numeric.
    2. If the input [places] number is text or non-numeric.

Hope you understood how to use DEC2OCT function and referring cell in Excel. Explore more articles on Excel mathematical conversion functions here. Please feel free to state your query or feedback for the above article.

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