Remove blanks, extra spaces, chars, and substrings

Power Tools provides you with various utilities to speed up most of your daily tasks. Learn how to work with the Remove group to delete extra spaces, characters, blank rows and columns in your Google spreadsheet.

Before you start

The Remove tool cannot process dates. The cells formatted as dates will be ignored to avoid data corruption.

How to remove unwanted spaces and characters

Run the Remove tool

  1. Go to Add-ons > Power Tools > Start to open the add-on in Google Sheets:
    Run Power Tools.
  2. Click on the Remove icon on the add-on's sidebar:
    Click the Remove icon on the Power Tools sidebar.
  3. Select the range with your data and choose between four ways of clearing the selected range.
    Tip. You can pick Add-ons > Power Tools > Remove on the first step to see the tool's options right away.

Remove a substring or individual characters

Use this tab to delete single symbols or their combinations within the selected range:
Get rid of unwanted characters or substrings.

  • Remove a substring
    Enter the combination of characters you need to delete, e.g. a word you want to remove from the cells.
  • Remove entered characters individually
    This option lets you list all characters to delete in one go. E.g. entering 1a will remove all occurrences of character 1 and of character a.

Click the Remove button and the chosen chars will be erased from your spreadsheet.

Remove spaces and delimiters

Open the Remove spaces and delimiters group to see all the possible ways to delete excess blanks and delimiters in your sheet:
Delete extra spaces, delimiters, and non-printing characters.
Check the boxes next to the data you'd like to delete in the range of interest:

  • Remove leading and trailing spaces
    Eliminate all extra spaces before and after the values in your cells that may impede with further calculations.
  • Remove spaces between words to one
    Ticking off this option will help you get rid of any extra blanks between words in the selected cells.
  • Remove all spaces
    The add-on will delete all spaces in the selected range, including non-breaking ones.
  • Remove html entities
    This one will clear away all html entities like " " that appear in your data after importing them from web sources.
  • Remove all delimiters
    Delete any line breaks, spaces, commas, and semicolons used as delimiters in your range in Google Sheets.
  • Remove non-printing characters
    Check this option to get rid of all non-breaking spaces, line breaks, and tabs in the range.

Click the Remove button and see the characters you selected are erased from your spreadsheet.

Remove characters by position

The options in this group will help you delete characters depending on where they are in the selected cells:
Get rid of characters based on their position in cells.

  • Remove characters by position
    Choose this radio button to cut characters from certain positions in the selected cells by their numerical order. For example, to clear telephone extensions from the numbers that take 10-14 characters in a column, enter the first and the last character position you'd like to delete in the From and To fields respectively.
  • Remove the first/last characters
    This one will help you delete any number of characters at the beginning of the selected cells or at their end.

    Pick the necessary option in the drop-down list: The first to delete text that starts the cells, and The last to remove the ending; then enter the number of characters you'd like to delete.

  • Remove characters before/after text
    Select this option to delete any information before or after a specific character or string in the range of your choice:

    • Set before in the drop-down list and enter the string before which you'd like to remove all text.
    • Choose after in the drop-down list and use the text field to enter the string after which you'd like to have all values deleted.

Fine-tune the necessary option and click the Remove button to start the process.

Remove empty rows and columns

Open the Remove empty rows and columns group and tick off the checkboxes next to those data types you want delete from your sheet:
Choose to delete empty rows and columns.

  • Remove all empty rows
    Pick this option to delete all blank rows within the data in your sheet.
  • Remove all empty columns
    Similarly, choose to delete all blank columns within your data.
  • Remove unused rows
    Once your table is a complete set of data, you can get rid of all empty rows under it by checking this box.

    Tip. Deleting unused rows helps making your spreadsheet smaller and contributes to processing data faster and easier.
  • Remove unused columns
    The same way you can delete all empty columns at the end of your data.

    Tip. This option will lighten your spreadsheet and make it easier to process your data.
  • Once the needed options are ticked off, click Remove and see the result.

Responses

Dhiren Bavisi says:
January 30, 2019 at 4:20 am

How do I remove multiple substring texts from a section, instead of one by one?

For example, I have a column A filled with texts that I no longer want to see in the substrings of column B,C and D.

Reply

Thank you for your question, Dhiren.

I'm afraid at the moment it's impossible to remove multiple different strings at a time.
You can only remove them one by one from all columns if you select them (these columns) as the range to process.

However, this possibility looks really good, and I will forward this feature request to our developers and executives to consider. I can't give you any promises but can contact you back when/if it's supported.

I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.

Reply

Is there way to customize what trailing character is removed? To remove, say, a trailing slash or comma? The lengths of the strings vary, so I can't do 'crop after character 10,' for example.

Reply

Thank you for your interest in our add-on, Joanne.

It is possible to remove a substring or individual character(s) using our Remove tool, but the add-on will delete all the characters you specify, not only the trailing ones. As a workaround, you can use our Advanced Find and Replace add-on to find all the unwanted symbols and replace only the necessary ones with "nothing" to get rid of them.

Feel free to contact us again if you have any other questions or need further assistance.

Reply

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