An Overview of BASE Function | Microsoft Excel

The BASE function is one of the math and trigonometry functions in Microsoft Excel. It can be used as a standalone function as well as in collaboration with the other functions. This article will give you an overview of the BASE function in Excel.


The BASE function converts a number of a certain base into a text version of another base. For example, BASE(10,2) converts the decimal 10 into binary 1010.


=BASE(Number, Radix, [Min_length])


  • Number: Compulsory. It refers to the number you want to convert. You can enter any number in the range 0 ≤ Number ≤ 2^53.
  • Radix: Compulsory. It refers to the base you want to convert your number into.
  • Min_length: Non-compulsory. It refers to the minimum length of the output string.


A text version of the converted number.

Examples of BASE Function

Suppose, you have a decimal number 291 in cell A2. Now you want to convert this number into a binary number with a total of 10 digits in the output string. To do that, you can the BASE function. Here is the formula for this base conversion:


The output will be 0100100011.

Here are some examples of the usage of the BASE function.

Examples of BASE Function in Excel

Usage Guide of BASE Function

Step_1: Start with inserting an equal sign (=) in a blank cell.

Step_2: Then type BASE.

Step_3: Type open parenthesis “(“.

As you type the open parenthesis, Excel shows the syntax of the BASE function.

Step_4: Insert a number first.

You can directly insert a number or a cell address that contains a number.

Here, I’m inserting A2 which has the decimal number 45.

Step_5: Then insert a comma (,).

After inserting the comma, Excel will ask you for the second argument which is the radix.

Usage Guide of BASE Function in Excel

Step_6: Now insert the radix.

You can insert the cell address of the radix or directly insert a number as a radix.

Here, the radix is in cell B2. So, I’m inserting B2 inside the function.

Usage Guide of BASE Function in Excel

Step_7: Now insert a comma again.

This time Excel will ask you for the third argument which is min_length.

Step_8: Insert a number to specify the minimum length of the output string.

Here, I want to get a total of 10 characters in the output string. Thus, I’m inserting C2 which has the number 10.

Usage Guide of BASE Function in Excel

Step_9: After that, insert the closing parenthesis “)”.

Step_10: Finally, hit the ENTER button to insert the formula inside the cell.

Final Result

The BASE function returns 0000101101. Here, the radix is 2. So the binary equivalent number of the decimal number 45 is 101101. As the Min_Length has been specified as 10, so the BASE function has added 4 extra zeros before 101101. Thus, the output is 0000101101 which is a ten digits binary equivalent of the decimal number 45.


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  • The BASE function shows #VALUE! error in the case of non-numeric values.
  • It returns #NUM! error when the radix is < 2 or > 36.
  • When the given number is a fraction number, the BASE function rounds down the number to the nearest integer number.


The BASE function is one of the math and trigonometry functions in Excel. If you have any questions regarding the BASE function, please comment below. Thanks!

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