Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Incrementing Numeric Portions of Serial Numbers.

Incrementing Numeric Portions of Serial Numbers

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 20, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Ted has a range of serial numbers in the format A12345678B. He would like to find a formula that will increment the numeric portion of the serial numbers by 1. Thus, the next number in sequence would be A12345679B, then A12345680B.

There are actually a couple of ways you can go about this, and the first doesn't really involve a formula at all. Instead you can create a custom format that displays your serial number. How you go about creating custom formats has been described in other ExcelTips; the format should look like this:

"A"#"B"

Then, in a cell that has this format applied, you only need to include the numeric portion of the serial number (12345678). You can then use regular AutoFill techniques to fill out as many cells as necessary with the serial number.

If you have your heart set on using a formula, then the following should work just fine as long as the pattern for the serial number is a single letter, eight numeric digits, and a single terminating letter:

=LEFT(A1,1) & MID(A1,2,8)+1 & RIGHT(A1,1)

This assumes that cell A1 contains the beginning serial number. If you put the formula in cell A2, it could be copied down as many times as necessary for the desired number of serial numbers.

If the numeric portion of the serial number could start with leading zeroes, then you need to use a different formula to provide the proper zero padding:

=LEFT(A1,1) & TEXT(VALUE(MID(A1,2,8))+1,"00000000") & RIGHT(A1,1)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11249) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Incrementing Numeric Portions of Serial Numbers.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using a Protected Worksheet

If you have a worksheet protected, it may not be immediately evident that it really is protected. This tip explains some ...

Discover More

Develop Macros in Their Own Workbook

If you develop macros and edit them quite a bit, you may be running the risk of causing problems with the macros or with ...

Discover More

Weird Actions for Arrow Keys and Enter

If your arrow keys and the Enter key aren't working as you expect them to, the problem could have any number of causes. ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Grabbing the Second-to-Last Value in a Column

Need to get at the next-to-last value in a column, regardless of how many cells are used within that column? This tip ...

Discover More

Extracting Street Numbers from an Address

Want to know how to move pieces of information contained in one cell into individual cells? This option exists if using ...

Discover More

Relative References to Cells in Other Workbooks

When you construct a formula and click on a cell in a different workbook, an absolute reference to that cell is placed in ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.