Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Using the REPT Function.

Using the REPT Function

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 12, 2016)

3

Excel includes a worksheet function that allows you to repeat a text string any number of times: REPT. For instance, suppose cell B1 contains the value 5 and cell C1 contains the following:

=REPT("*", B1)

What Excel shows is five asterisks (*****) in cell C1. REPT takes whatever is in the quote marks and repeats it the number of times specified. If the string is more than one character, then it is also repeated that number of times. For instance, consider the following:

=REPT("/\", B1)

Assuming B1 still contains the value 5, the formula results in a ten-character string: /\/\/\/\/\. If you don't typically wax graphic or want to use Excel's charting features, you can use the REPT function to create simple histograms of your data.

The only caveat is that the string created by REPT cannot be any longer than 32,767 characters. If you exceed this limit you won't get an error, you just get a truncated string.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12140) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Using the REPT Function.

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 one more than 9?

2016-11-26 06:25:26

Michael (Micky) Avidan

@Mark,
One and common use is as follows:
Assume a string, in cell A1, such as: go.USA.brand
In order to extract the last word (same from any other string with unknown numer of periods) in cell B1 type:
=TRIM(RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A1,".",REPT(" ",256)),256))
--------------------------
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2017)
ISRAEL


2016-11-13 07:01:09

Mark Haywood

Can you give me an example of when and why you would need to use this function?


2016-11-12 11:50:27

David Gray

I have used REPT for years, often as not to insert spaces into the middle of a string. Anything that calls for a space character instead gets CHAR(32), which leaves no question that it's a SPACE, as opposed to some other invisible character.


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