Identifying Digit-Only Part Numbers Excluding Special Characters

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 30, 2018)

2

Chris has a large number of cells that contain part numbers. These cells can contain either digits or characters, in any combination. They can also contain special characters such as dashes, slashes, and spaces. Chris needs a way to identify if a cell contains only digits, without taking the special characters into account. Thus, a cell containing 123-45 would show as containing only digits, while 123AB-45 would not.

The easiest way to figure out if a given cell contains only the allowable characters and digits is to use a formula that removes the non-digit permissible characters and then sees if the resulting value is numeric. All of the following formulas can do the trick quite nicely:

=IF(IFERROR(INT(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(A1,"-", ""),"/", "")," ", "")),FALSE), TRUE, FALSE)
=OR(ISNUMBER(SUBSTITUTE(A1,"-","")+0),ISNUMBER(SUBSTITUTE(A1,"/","")+0),ISNUMBER(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ","")+0))
=ISNUMBER(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(A1," ",""),"/",""),"-","")*1)

You could also use a simple macro to figure out if a cell contains only digits and your allowed characters. While there are any number of ways that such a macro could be approached, here's a rather easy method:

Function DigitsOnly(sRaw As String) As Boolean
    Dim X As Integer
    Const sAllowed As String = "0123456789 -/"

    Application.Volatile
    For X = 1 To Len(sRaw)
       If InStr(sAllowed, Mid(sRaw, X, 1)) = 0 Then Exit For
    Next X
    DigitsOnly = False
    If X > Len(sRaw) Then DigitsOnly = True
End Function

The macro examines whatever is passed to it, comparing each character in the string to a list of allowed characters (in the constant sAllowed). If a disallowed character is detected, the loop is exited early and a False value is returned. Thus, if you wanted to evaluate the cell at A1, you could use the following in your macro:

=DigitsOnly(A1)

Since they return either True or False values, any of these approaches (formula or user-defined function) could be used in conjunction with conditional formatting to make formatting changes to your part numbers.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12654) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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

Determining the Length of a String

Need to find out in a macro how long a particular text string is? You can figure it out by using the Len function, ...

Discover More

Allowing Only Comments In a Document

Develop a document that is to be reviewed by a group of people, and you may want to protect it in some way. One way you ...

Discover More

An Average that Excludes Zero Values

Excel allows you to use functions and formulas to analyze your data. One way you can analyze your data is to use the ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Counting Precedents and Dependents

Do you need to know how many precedents or dependents there are on a worksheet? You could count them manually, or you ...

Discover More

Looking Backward through a Data Table

Sometimes you need to look backward, through the information above your formula, to find the data you need. This can be ...

Discover More

Changing the Reference in a Named Range

Define a named range today and you may want to change the definition at some future point. It's rather easy to do, as ...

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}] 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 two more than 2?

2018-07-02 09:36:35

Rain

Sometimes I wonder, "why in the world would someone need or want to do something like that?" This is one of those times.


2018-06-30 08:46:43

Willy Vanhaelen

I hate those jumbo formulas. So I schoose the UDF but it can be a little simpeler:

Function DigitsOnly_(sRaw As String) As Boolean
Dim X As Integer
For X = 1 To Len(sRaw)
If InStr("0123456789 -/", Mid(sRaw, X, 1)) = 0 Then Exit For
Next X
DigitsOnly = X > Len(sRaw)
End Function


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.