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Formula – Remove Unwanted Characters – Excel

Download Example Workbook

Download the example workbook

This tutorial will demonstrate how to remove unwanted character(s) from a cell in Excel.

remove unwanted characters Main Function

Remove Unwanted Characters

The SUBSTITUTE Function replaces characters in a text string. Its syntax is:


If you want to remove unwanted characters from a cell, just use the SUBSTITUTE Function with the character to be removed and an empty string (“”).

remove unwanted Characters 01

The example above removes spaces from the original string by replacing them with an empty string. It works for any character, like the exclamation point example below:

remove unwanted characters 02

Nested SUBSTITUTE Functions

With the SUBSTITUTE Function, as shown in the examples above, it’s only possible to remove one character (for any number of instances) at a time. But you can remove multiple unwanted characters at once by nesting SUBSTITUTE Functions.

remove unwanted characters 03

This example removes any the pound signs “#” or double dashes “–” and replaces them with a single dash “-“.

Remove Unwanted Characters in Google Sheets

These formulas work exactly the same in Google Sheets as in Excel.

remove unwanted characters Google Function