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: Using the REPT Function.

Using the REPT Function

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 2, 2022)

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, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Sorting a Range of Cells

When you sort data in a worksheet, you don't need to sort everything at once. You can sort just a portion of your data by ...

Discover More

Repeating In a Macro

Macros are often used to process information stored in documents. Usually the processing involves some sort of iterative ...

Discover More

Changing the Program that Opens a File

If you have multiple versions of the same program on your system, Windows can become confused as to which version it ...

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)

Cleaning Text

You can use the CLEAN worksheet function to remove any non-printable characters from a cell. This can come in handy when ...

Discover More

Returning an ANSI Value

Need to know the character value of the first character in a string? It's easy to do, without using a macro, by using the ...

Discover More

Using the IRR Function

When working with finances, you often need to know the rate of return on a given investment. The most common type of ...

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 nine more than 9?

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.