Oracle / PLSQL: TO_NUMBER Function

This article is written about how to use the Oracle/PLSQL TO_NUMBER feature with syntax and examples.


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


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

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

Parameters or Arguments

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


The TO_NUMBER function returns a numeric value.

Applies To

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

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


Let’s seem to be at some Oracle TO_NUMBER function examples and explore how to use the TO_NUMBER feature 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 honestly convert a text string to a numeric price as follows:

Result: 1210.73