If you’re using Excel, chances are you’re familiar with Excel functions: whether basic ones like SUM and AVERAGE or more complicated ones like VLOOKUP and MATCH. However, we bet nobody’s told you about the ROMAN and the BAHTTEXT functions.
The Roman Function in Excel
The ROMAN function converts numbers into Roman numerals. Here are some examples:
=ROMAN(38) returns XXXV1I
=ROMAN(99) returns XCIX
There are a few bizarre things about this function. The first is that it only goes up to 3999 – if you try to find out what any number higher than this is in Roman numerals, you’ll get an error. Surely Romans could count higher than this?
The second oddity is that the Roman function takes a second argument, which determines the format of the number returned. So, for example, =ROMAN(99,3) returns 1C, rather than XCIX.
Perhaps the oddest thing about this function, however, is that it exists in the first place. We like to think that it’s provided so that companies can express all of their financial statements in Roman numerals. Or perhaps it’s so that people can talk about the IX lives of a cat or a baker’s XII?
The BAHTTEXT Function
Wouldn’t it be useful to have a function in Excel which turned a number into text? For example:
=ThisFunction(38) would return “thirty-eight”
The good news is that actually there is such a function in Excel; the bad news is that it returns the text in Thai script. Try typing something like =BAHTTEXT(38) into a cell and pressing ENTER, and marvel at the results.
So there you have it: our two favourite (albeit most useless) functions in Excel!