Identifying Digit-Only Part Numbers Excluding Special Characters

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 30, 2018)

3

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:

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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 7 - 7?

2020-01-13 12:54:26

Roy

Let me help you then Rain.

In my case I need to take part descriptive information and extract the required information. For instance, a simple version would be the string " OD2.345 ID.785 TH.047" and I need the three numbers from that, in order. They could come with ASCII and non-ASCII characters littered in them and could come in metric as well, though never metric and Imperial mixed. They might be out of order and can contain extraneous numbers. Three may be spaces, may not, and there may be extraneous text mixed in. But a simple version could look like the above.

They would normally be presented in various documents, then copied and pasted into the spreadsheet. Never typed in as one would just type what was needed, of course.

So I need all the non-numerical characters stripped out, but not their places as I cannot have the numerals all run together. I need, ideally, to end up with the three values I need, and no others, but I don't bother with that as the times I get a fourth number are fairly rare so we handle those manually. Replacing non-good characters with spaces lets a simple TRIM() strip away the extras.

THAT is one way in which somehow, somewhere in the "world" someone would want or need to do something like that.

The example in the text above is clearly another.


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


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