How to work with text in Google Sheets

Power Tools provides you with various utilities to speed up most of your daily tasks. Using this tool, you can fulfil a few main tasks in a spreadsheet: change case, replace special characters, and polish text.

Before you start

The Text tool cannot process dates. Cells formatted as dates will be ignored to avoid data corruption.

How to change case and replace characters in Google Sheets

Run the Text tool

  1. Go to Extensions > Power Tools > Start in the Google Sheets menu:
    Run Power Tools.
  2. Enter the Text group:
    Enter the Text group in Power Tools.
  3. Click the Modify icon on the add-on sidebar:
    Click the Modify icon to access the tool.
  4. Select the range with your text and decide what to do with it.

Change case in Google Sheets

Open the Change case group to modify the text capitalization in the selected cells:
Change case of the text in Google Sheets.

  • Sentence case.
    Make each sentence in all cells of the range start with a capital letter.

    Note. The option doesn't lower other letters in cells in order not to corrupt possible names and abbreviations. To lower everything anyway, please apply the lower case option first.
  • Capitalize Each Word
    Use this option whenever you want to make the first letter of every word in the selected cells capital.
    Tip. This setting doesn't lower other letters in cells in order not to corrupt possible names and abbreviations. To lower everything anyway, apply lower & Capitalize instead.
  • lower case
    Convert all values of interest to lowercase by picking this radio button.
  • lower & Capitalize
    For when you need not only to capitalize each word in a cell but also lower all other letters.
    Tip. To keep other letters intact, use Capitalize Each Word instead.
    Use this option to transform all the words in the selected cells to uppercase.
    Reverse the case of each letter in the selected range.
Tip. The last checkbox, Ignore formulas, makes the tool skip cells with formulas that your range may contain. Otherwise, they will be processed as well and replaced with values.

Once the option is chosen, click Modify and the case will be changed.

Replace symbols

Use this accordion to get rid of all special characters without breaking your data. It will help you make all characters in the range of interest uniform:
Replace specific symbols within the range in Google Sheets.

  • When you import data with foreign text, select Replace accented characters to remove diacritical marks from the letters, e.g. replace all instances of á with a.
  • Choose the option to Replace codes with symbols to get all the copyright (©), ampersand (&), and all similar signs instead of their codes.

    E.g., you import book titles from the web, and some of them contain codes like "War & Piece". Use this tool to change those codes into their corresponding symbols — "War & Piece".

  • Select the Replace symbols with codes radio button to remove all the copyright (©), ampersand (&), and all similar signs and paste their codes instead.
  • Other characters you may need to change are smart quotes (curved quotation marks). The last setting will replace them with straight quotes in all selected cells.

After you choose what to replace, click Modify and see the changes in the range of your choice.

Polish text

This group contains the most commonly used options to bring all text in your spreadsheet back to its normal readable form:
Normalize text in Google Sheets.

  • To make sure no excess space has delved into your text, tick off Remove extra spaces.
  • On the contrary, we may lack some spaces after commas, full stops, brackets, etc. Choose Add space after punctuation marks to return them to their place.
  • Make the text in each cell begin with the capital letter while lowering others with the Sentence case option.

Check some or all boxes depending on what you need to normalize and press Modify. The text in the selected range will be polished in no time.