Chapter 11: Creating Formulas That Manipulate Text

In This Chapter

Seeing how Excel handles text entered into cells

Looking at Excel worksheet functions that handle text

Getting examples of advanced text formulas

Excel is, of course, best known for its ability to crunch numbers. It's also quite versatile, however, with handling text. As you know, you can enter text for such things as row and column headings, customer names and addresses, part numbers, and just about anything else. In addition (as you may expect), you can use formulas to manipulate the text contained in cells.

This chapter contains many examples of formulas that use a variety of functions to manipulate text. Some of these formulas perform feats that you may not have thought possible.

A Few Words about Text

When you enter data into a cell, Excel immediately goes to work and determines whether you're entering a formula, a number (including a date or time), or anything else. That “anything else” is considered text.


You may hear the term string used instead of text. You can use these terms interchangeably. Sometimes they even appear together, as in text string.

A single cell can hold up to 32,000 characters — roughly equivalent to the number of characters in this chapter. But Excel is not a word processor, and I can't think of a reason why anyone would need to even come close to that number.

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