Clean and reformat telephone numbers in Excel

Supposing, you have a list of telephone numbers which are formatted with various formatting, now, you want to clean up all the phone number formatting and reformat them with a specific formatting as below screenshot shown. This article, I will talk about how to deal with this job in Excel by using a formula.


Clean and reformat telephone numbers in Excel with SUBSTITUTE function

To clean up all the phone numbers formatting, the SUBSTITUTE function can help you to replace the unwanted characters (hyphens, periods and parentheses) with empty string. The generic syntax is:

=SUBSTITUTE(text, old_text, new_text, [instance_num])
  • text: The text string containing the character or text you want to replace;
  • old_text: The text that you want to replace;
  • new_text: The text you want to replace with;
  • instance_num: Optional. Specifies which occurrence of old_text you want to replace. If omitted, all instances are replaced.

1. Please apply the following formula into a blank cell where you want to get the result:

=SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(A2,"-",""),".",""),"(",""),")","")," ","")+0

2. Then, drag the fill handle down to the cells where to apply this formula, and all the phone number formatting has been cleaned up immediately, see screenshot:

3. Then, please copy the formula cells and paste them into another location as values.

4. And then, select the pasted cells, press Ctrl + 1 keys to open the Format Cells dialog box, in this dialog, under the Number tab, select Custom option from the left Category pane, and then type the phone number formatting as you need into the Type text box, in this example, I will enter this format: (###) ###-####, see screenshot:

5. Then, click OK button, and now, the new phone number format has been applied to the numbers, see screenshot:


Explanation of the formula:

In the above formula, there is a combination of five SUBSTITUTE functions, the additional “+0” at the end of the formula is used to convert the telephone numbers into number format. You can write the formula as below screenshot shown, with this format, you can add other or remove the substitutions easily.


Relative function used:

  • SUBSTITUTE:
  • The SUBSTITUTE function replaces text or characters within a text string with another text or characters.

More articles:

  • Convert numbers to text in Excel
  • Maybe, there are several methods for converting the numbers to text format in Excel worksheet, but, in this article, I will introduce some functions for deal with this task.
  • Convert text to number in Excel
  • The numbers stored as text format can not be calculated normally in Excel, in this case, you should convert the text to general number. This article, I will talk about some functions for dealing with this job in Excel.
  • Compare two or more text strings in Excel
  • If you want to compare two or more text strings in a worksheet with case sensitive or not case sensitive as following screenshot shown, this article, I will talk about some useful formulas for you to deal with this task in Excel.

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