How to extract text and numbers in Excel

Text Toolkit contains a tool that allows extracting text, substrings, and numbers from one cell to another cell in your Excel worksheet. Forget about complex formulas with the FIND, MIN, LEFT, or RIGHT functions. Extract Text is a perfect alternative that offers you several radio buttons for when you want to extract text or numbers.

Before you start

We care about your data. The add-in will back up your file if you select the corresponding option.

How to extract substrings and numbers in Excel

Click the Extract icon that you'll find in the Text group on the Ablebits Data tab:
Extract tool for Excel.

You'll see the Extract Text pane:
How to extract Excel substring.

  1. Select the column with values where you want to extract text or numbers.
    Note. The column with the extracted substrings will be inserted to the right of the initially selected column. For example, if you extract characters or substrings from column A, the result will be placed to a new column B.
  2. If needed, click the Expand selection icon to highlight the whole table.
  3. Click the radio button with the option that corresponds to the way you want to extract values:
    • The first N characters. Enter the number of characters to extract from the beginning of the selected cells.
    • The last N characters. Specify the number of characters to extract at the end of your cell values.
    • Extract text by position. Enter the necessary Position number of the first character and The number of characters to extract.
    • All before text. Type the text that has the substring to extract in front of it.
    • All after text. Specify the text that has the substring to extract behind.
    • Extract numbers. Pull all numbers from the selected cells.
  4. Tick the Insert as formula checkbox to recalculate the resulting numbers if the source data changes.
  5. To make sure your data is safe, check the option to Back up the worksheet.

Press Insert results to see the extracted records in a new column inserted to the right of your source column.


Robert Sheard says:
February 18, 2019 at 9:26 am

I have just upgraded to the latest version. I when I extract numbers from within a string, it concatenates all numbers into one single number where these numbers are in separate strings within the target cell in the master data. This a blunt instrument.
e.g. AB-123-345 50 x 25mm becomes 1233455025 , and BR-012.123.01 BAK01 becomes 121230101

Q. Please advise me how I can extract numbers into individual strings or comma separated etc.

Many thanks.


Hi Robert,
Thank you for using our product and for your question. It is true, the add-in really extracts only numbers without any other characters, it was created for such use cases when characters are not needed. Concerning your question, if you have the same data format in your column, you can select to extract the first or the last number of characters. In this case, you will get extracted a string with all the symbols preserved.

Please contact us if you have any other questions or comments.
Thank you.

Robert Sheard says:
February 20, 2019 at 7:46 am

Thanks for your reply. Unfortunately, the data I work with can have numbers in different positions in each row. Most cells in the colum holding “Description”
have a mixture of numbers that represent a “manufacturer part number” and some represent size or other product attributes.

I had a play with using the extract Names and Address tool which does get a little closer by splitting different strings into columns (or rows) but not what I need to achieve.

My excel skills are intermediate plus, but I do not have the knowledge to solve this. Please can one of your experts have a look at this. If you need further clarity on my objectives, please contact me. Many thanks.

Hi Robert,
I think we've found a solution for you, please check your Inbox 🙂

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