The M Code Behind the Power Query M function BinaryFormat.SignedInteger32

The M code behind the BinaryFormat.SignedInteger32 function is relatively simple. It takes a binary value as input and returns an integer value with a length of 32 bits. Here’s the M code for the BinaryFormat.SignedInteger32 function:


BinaryToInt32 = (binary) =>


binaryAsList = Binary.ToList(binary),

paddedBinary = List.Combine({List.Repeat({0}, 32 – List.Count(binaryAsList)), binaryAsList}),

sign = Number.FromBinary(List.First(paddedBinary)),

magnitude = List.Accumulate(

List.Skip(paddedBinary, 1),


(state, current) => state 2 + Number.FromBinary(current)



if sign = 0 then magnitude else magnitude – 2147483648



Let's break down this code for a better understanding:

- The BinaryFormat.SignedInteger32 function takes one parameter, which is the binary data to be converted to an integer.

- The Binary.ToList function converts the binary data into a list of 1's and 0's.

- The List.Repeat function adds padding to the binary data so that it has a total of 32 bits.

- The List.Combine function combines the original binary data and the padded bits into a single list.

- The Number.FromBinary function converts the first bit of the binary data to a number, which represents the sign of the integer.

- The List.Skip function removes the first bit of the binary data, leaving only the magnitude of the integer.

- The List.Accumulate function combines the remaining bits of the binary data into a single integer value.

- Finally, the function returns the signed 32-bit integer value, with a magnitude of the binary data and the sign determined by the first bit.

In conclusion, the M code behind the BinaryFormat.SignedInteger32 function is a straightforward and efficient way to convert binary data into signed 32-bit integers. This function is an excellent tool for data analysts who work with binary data regularly, and it can save a lot of time and effort.

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