Remove unwanted characters from cell in Excel

You can use the SUBSTITUTE function to remove any unwanted characters from a specific cell in Excel.


How to remove unwanted characters from cell in Excel?

Generic formula

=SUBSTITUTE(text_string, text_to_remove, "")

Arguments

Text_string: The text string that containing the specific text you want to remove. It can be:

  • 1. The text enclosed in quotation marks;
  • 2. Or a reference to a cell containing the text.

Text_to_remove: The specific text you want to remove from a cell. It can be:

  • 1. The text enclosed in quotation marks;
  • 2. Or a reference to a cell containing the text.

How to use this formula?

This example is going to show you how to use the SUBSTITUTE function to remove the “+” symbol from each cell in range B3:B7.

1. Select a blank cell to output the result.

2. Enter the below formula into it and press the Enter key.

=SUBSTITUTE(B5,"+","")

3. Select the result cell, drag the Fill Handle to apply the formula to other cells.

Tips:

  • 1. You can change the “+” symbol in the formula to any other unwanted character you want to remove.
  • 2. If you know the code of the character that you want to remove, please use the char(code) to replace the Text_to_remove in the formula. Here takes the dash (the code of the dash is 45) as an example, the formula will be shown as below:
    =SUBSTITUTE(B5,CHAR(45),"")

How this formula works?

=SUBSTITUTE(B5,"+","")

The SUBSTITUTE function replaces the + character with empty text.


Related functions

Excel SUBSTITUTE function
The Microsoft Excel SUBSTITUTE function replaces text or characters within a text string with another text or characters.


Related formulas

Remove line breaks from cells in Excel
This tutorial provides three formulas to help you removing line breaks from specific cells in Excel.

Remove text from cell by matching the content
This article shows you how to use the SUBSTITUTE function to remove part of text string from specified cells by matching content.

Remove text from a cell based on specific position
This tutorial explains how to use formulas to remove text from a cell based on specific position in Excel.

Remove text based on variable position in Excel
This tutorial explains how to remove text or characters from a cell when it locates in variable position.


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