oracle tutorial

Oracle/PLSQL: TO_NUMBER Function

This Oracle tutorial explains how to use the Oracle/PLSQL TO_NUMBER function with syntax and examples.


The Oracle/PLSQL TO_NUMBER function converts a string to a number.


The syntax for the TO_NUMBER function in Oracle/PLSQL is:

TO_NUMBER( string1 [, format_mask] [, nls_language] )

Parameters or Arguments

The string that will be converted to a number.
Optional. This is the format that will be used to convert string1 to a number.
Optional. This is the nls language used to convert string1 to a number.

Applies To

The TO_NUMBER function can be used in the following versions of Oracle/PLSQL:

  • Oracle 12c, Oracle 11g, Oracle 10g, Oracle 9i, Oracle 8i


Let's look at some Oracle TO_NUMBER function examples and explore how to use the TO_NUMBER function in Oracle/PLSQL.

For example:

TO_NUMBER('1210.73', '9999.99')
Result: 1210.73

TO_NUMBER('546', '999')
Result: 546

TO_NUMBER('23', '99')
Result: 23

Since the format_mask and nls_language parameters are optional, you can simply convert a text string to a numeric value as follows:

Result: 1210.73