Chapter 5: Manipulating Text

In This Chapter

• How Excel handles text entered into cells

• Excel worksheet functions that handle text

• Examples of advanced text formulas

Excel, of course, is best known for its ability to crunch numbers. However, it is also quite versatile when it comes to handling text. As you know, Excel enables you to enter text for items such as row and column headings, customer names and addresses, part numbers, and just about anything else. And, as you might expect, you can use formulas to manipulate the text contained in cells.

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

A Few Words about Text

When you type 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. 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.

How many characters in a cell?

A single cell can hold up to 32,000 characters. To put things into perspective, this chapter contains about 30,000 characters. I certainly don't recommend using a cell in lieu of a word processor, but you really don't have to lose much sleep worrying about filling up a cell ...

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