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How to Remove Text by Matching

We can remove text in Excel by matching the content. This can be done with the SUBSTITUTE function. The steps below will walk through the process.

Figure 1: Result for Removing Text by Matching

Syntax to Remove Text by Matching

=SUBSTITUTE(text, text_to_remove,"")

Formula

=SUBSTITUTE(A4,"-","")

Setting up the Data to Remove Text by Matching

We will input phone numbers into Column A from Cell A4 to Cell A9. Column B will contain the results.

Figure 2: Setting up the Data

Remove Text by Matching

We will remove the hyphens (-) from the phone numbers in Column A by following the steps below:

  • We will click on Cell B4
  • We will input the formula below into the cell

=SUBSTITUTE(A4,"-","")

  • We will press the enter key to get the result

 

Figure 3: Result for Removing Text by Matching for Cell A4

  • We will drag the fill handle from Cell B5 to Cell B9 to copy the formula into those cells and get the result

Figure 4: Result for Removing Text by Matching

Explanation

=SUBSTITUTE(text, text_to_remove,"")

In this formula, the SUBSTITUTE function supplies the text that is contained in the cell. It requests that excel removes the hyphen (text to remove) and the inverted commas serve as the new text without the hyphen that has been removed. It is this new text that is returned as the output.

How to Remove More than one Character

We can nest the SUBSTITUTE function to remove more than one character. The generic formula to do this is:

=SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(text,text_to_remove_1,””),text_to_remove2,””)

  • We will add brackets to the previous data used.

Figure 5: How to Remove More than one Character

We will do the following to ensure that we have only the numbers as the output.

  • We will click on Cell B4
  • We will input the formula below into the cell

=SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(A4,"-",""),"(",""),")","")

  • We will press the enter key to get the result

 

Figure 6: How to Remove More than one Character

  • We will drag the fill handle from Cell B5 to Cell B9 to copy the formula into those cells and get the result

Figure 7: Result of Removing More than one Character

Explanation

The operation starts with the nested SUBSTITUTE function. Excel removes text_to_remove_1 first. It then proceeds to the outer SUBSTITUTE function and removes text_to_remove_2.

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