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How to remove non-alphanumeric characters in Excel?

Supposing there is a range of data, such as JAMES0898#4%^{}, which contains non-alphanumeric characters in a worksheet, and now you just only want to remove the non-alphanumeric characters and keep the alphanumeric characters. For example, JAMES0898#4%^{} > JAMES0898. How do you quickly delete those non-alphanumeric characters in Excel?


Remove non-alphanumeric characters with VBA code

With the following short VBA code, you can remove the non-alphanumeric characters as well. You can do it as this:

1. Press Alt + F11 keys together to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for applications window.

2. Click Insert > Module, and then paste below VBA code into the Module:

VBA:Remove all non-alphanumeric characters

Sub RemoveNotAlphasNotNum()
'Updateby2014128
Dim Rng As Range
Dim WorkRng As Range
On Error Resume Next
xTitleId = "KutoolsforExcel"
Set WorkRng = Application.Selection
Set WorkRng = Application.InputBox("Range", xTitleId, WorkRng.Address, Type:=8)
For Each Rng In WorkRng
    xOut = ""
    For i = 1 To Len(Rng.Value)
        xTemp = Mid(Rng.Value, i, 1)
        If xTemp Like "[a-z.]" Or xTemp Like "[A-Z.]" Or xTemp Like "[0-9.]" Then
            xStr = xTemp
        Else
            xStr = ""
        End If
        xOut = xOut & xStr
    Next i
    Rng.Value = xOut
Next
End Sub

3. Press F5 key or click the Run button to execute the code.

4. Then select a range you want to remove all non-alphanumeric characters in the pop-up dialog, and click the OK button.

Now all of the non-alphanumeric characters have been deleted from the selected range. See screenshot:

2 clicks to remove all non-alphanumeric characters by an amazing tool

We commonly put cursor into a cell and then remove non-alphanumeric characters one by one manually. If you are familiar with VBA or User Defined Functions, you can code it and remove all non-alphanumeric characters in bulk. But here, I will recommend an amazing tool, Remove Characters feature of Kutools for Excel, which can remove all kinds of characters with 2 clicks only! Full Feature Free Trial 30-day!

Remove non-alphanumeric characters with User Defined Function

You can also define a custom function to remove all non-alphanumeric characters from cells in Excel.

1. Press Alt + F11 keys together to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for applications window.

2. Click Insert > Module, and then paste below code into the Module:

User Defined Function: Remove all non-alphanumeric characters

Function DeleteNonAlphaNumeric(xStr As String) As String
Dim xStrR As String
Dim xCh As String

Dim xStrMode As String
Dim xInt As Integer
    xStrMode = "[A-Z.a-z 0-9]"
    xStrR = ""
    For xInt = 1 To Len(xStr)
        xCh = Mid(xStr, xInt, 1)
        If xCh Like xStrMode Then
            xStrR = xStrR & xCh
        End If
    Next
    DeleteNonAlphaNumeric = xStrR
End Function
    

3. Now go back to the worksheet, select a blank cell, and enter the formula =DeleteNonAlphaNumeric(B3), and then drag the AutoFill handle download to apply this formula to other cells.


Remove non-alphanumeric characters with Kutools for Excel

With above two methods, you need to know the codes, but as Excel beginners, most of us can’t use the code, so here I will give you an easy way to do it.

Kutools for Excel- Includes more than 300 handy tools for Excel. Full feature free trial 30-day, no credit card required! Get It Now

If you have installed Kutools for Excel, please do it as following steps:

1. Select the range that you need to remove non-alphanumeric characters from, and click Kutools > Text > Remove Characters.

2. Then a Delete Characters dialog box will appear, only check Non-alphanumeric option, and click the Ok button.

Now all of the non-alphanumeric characters have been deleted from the text strings.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Dee · 3 years ago
    How do you remove the characters while keeping the space separator?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Mike Litoris · 5 years ago
    VBA method worked, but only works on the selected range. You cannot specify the output into a different range of cells than the input. So you must copy the source data into the target range, select the data, run the script and allow it to output to the default range. Also, the period (.) is not considered a special character, so if you want to remove those too, you'll need to search and replace.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Bryan Steven · 6 years ago
    Thanks for sharing, but still don't like the input-box method... :D