How to remove first, last or certain characters from text in Excel?
We may use Excel functions to remove characters from a text string in Excel. This article is going to talk about the solutions to remove certain characters from a text string.
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Supposing you have a range of text strings, and now you need to remove first, last or certain several characters from the text strings, as the following screenshots show:
Remove First Characters Remove Last Characters Remove Certain Characters
With the Excel LEFT and RIGHT function, you can remove the certain characters from the beginning or the end of the strings. Please do as the following steps:
Remove the first four characters from the text string.
Step 1. Type the following formula in adjacent cell B1: =RIGHT(A1, LEN(A1)-4), see screenshot:
Tips: This formula means to return the right most number of characters, you need to subtract 4 characters from left string. And you can specify the number of characters you want to remove from the left string by changing the Number 4 in the formula =RIGHT(A1, LEN(A1)-4).
Step 2. Then press Enter key, and select the cell B1, then drag the fill handle over the cells that you want to contain this formula. And now you are successful in removing the first 4 characters of the text strings. See screenshot:
If you need to remove the last several characters, you can use the LEFT function as the same as the RIGHT function.
Note: Using the Excel function to remove certain characters is not as directly as it is. Just take a look at the way provided in next method, which is no more than two or three mouse clicks.
If you want to remove all characters at the front or end of the colon :, Find and Replace function in Excel also can make your removing as soon as quickly.
Step 1. Hold the Ctrl button and press F to open Find and Replace dialog, and click Replace.
Step 2. Enter :* into the Find what box, and leave blank in Replace with box. See screenshot:
Step 3. Click Replace All, and all the characters at the end of the colon (include the colon) have been removed. See screenshot:
If you want to remove all characters before the colon, please type *: into the Find what box, and leave blank in Replace with box. See screenshot:
Click Replace All, all the characters before the colon have been removed. See screenshot:
Note: This method is only applied to the characters which contain the specific separators, so you can change the colon: to any other separators as your need.
With the Remove by Position utility of the third party add-in Kutools for Excel, you can be easy to remove first, last or certain characters from the text string in one click.
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After installing Kutools for Excel, apply Remove by Position according to these steps:
1. Select the range that you want to remove the certain characters. Then click Kutools > Text Tools > Remove by Position. See screenshot:
2. Specify the following operations in the pop-up Remove by Position dialog box. See screenshot:
- Specify the number of characters to be deleted.
- Choose the positions where the characters started to be deleted. You can determine the position from left or right, or from a specified position. Here we remove characters from the specified position. See screenshot:
3. The Preview pane in the right part of the box can help to see the removing result immediately. Then click OK or Apply. The specified characters have been removed from the text strings in the original range. See screenshots:
Note: To avoid non-text cell, please choose Skip non-text cell.