Using The Replace Function In Excel

Excel function tutorials

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Suppose that you have a few hundred cells where you need to make a small change. Chances are that you will either require the help of a macro or an excel function in order to get it done. I was given a fairly simple task. A reader had a list such as the one you can see here:

He had to replace the “-“ by the following “.-.”. Basically, add a dot before and after. There are a few ways to get it done but doing it by hand was impossible (there were about 1000 different cells that needed to be changed). So what could I do? I decided to use the replace function. Herei s how it should be used:

=replace(old text,start num,num_characters,new text)

So basically for the first cell, I needed to do the following:

=REPLACE(A1,FIND(“-“,A1),1,”.-.”)

Why did I use “find”? Because I needed an easy way to find where the “-“ was located. You can see the end result here:

The replace function is fairly easy to use and can turn out to be very useful! You can download the spreadsheet here

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