Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Replacing Dashes with Periods.

Replacing Dashes with Periods

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 26, 2018)

6

If you have a need to normalize the appearance of your data, you might want to replace any dashes in a text string with periods. For instance, if you have a phone number such as "123-555-1212" you might want to change it to "123.555.1212". This is easy to do using the SUBSTITUTE function:

=SUBSTITUTE(A7,"-",".")

The result is that any dashes appearing in the string in cell A7 are replaced with periods.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11028) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Replacing Dashes with Periods.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is nine more than 4?

2018-12-31 17:57:33

Neil

REPLACE would also work just fine for this. You can do REPLACE in a selection (like a column) if you don't want to do the replacement in the entire sheet.


2018-12-28 16:48:15

Yvan Loranger

Slightly off-topic but SUBSTITUTE has a 4th parameter:
SUBSTITUTE(string,oldtext,newtext,occurrence) where an occurrence of 3 would substitute only the 3rd occurrence.
If not specified [as in this Excel Tip] all occurrences are substituted.


2018-12-28 07:54:12

Harold Druss

How about a column of existing phone numbers.
How do I format the entire column.


2018-12-27 05:12:10

SteveJez

Henry,
The following will deal with the negative number issue as the substitute is only intended to be applied to a text string in this example

=IF(ISTEXT(A7),SUBSTITUTE(A7,"-","."),"Cell "&CELL("address",A7)&" is not text")

Steve


2018-12-26 10:13:26

Henry Noble

Be careful also with negative numbers, including those displayed with parentheses. E.g. (7,394.00).


2018-12-26 09:33:38

JD Murphy

Using the SUBSTITUTE function:
Be careful if you are worried about FORMAT.


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