Removing unwanted characters in Excel

How to remove special characters in Excel 2016, 2013-2007

Remove special (non-printing) characters, numeric, text, or custom symbols

When you download a large database into Excel there can be thousands of unwanted characters to be removed like carriage returns or non-printing characters. Cell Cleaner for Excel will go through your list and delete all unwanted characters according to the settings you select.

Free Download
7-day fully functional version

Remove unwanted characters or substrings

This tool helps you remove custom characters and character sets in Excel by position, or everywhere in the selected cells. Easily delete all letters, digits, non-printing characters, and punctuation marks. It's also possible to enter and remove a substring from your range.

  1. Run the Remove Characters tool by clicking on its icon under the Ablebits Data tab in Excel. To remove characters select the range with the cells that contain values you want to delete.
    Open Remove unwanted characters section by clicking on the arrows
  2. Expand the group Remove characters or substrings. Expand the group Remove characters or substrings
  3. You can select one of three radio buttons according to your task.

    Remove custom characters. This option will remove special characters in Excel. If you have several symbols that you need to delete from your range and you don't want to repeat this routine operation several times, just enter each character you need to delete into the Remove custom characters field. Remove custom characters in Excel
    Remove character sets. Select the needed option from the drop-down list:
    • Non-printing characters - delete all non-printing characters like line breaks, the first 32 nonprinting characters in the 7-bit ASCII code (values 0 through 31) and additional nonprinting characters (values 127, 129, 141, 143, 144, and 157);
    • Text characters - delete all letters from your cells;
    • Numeric characters - delete all digits from the selected range;
    • Symbols and punctuation marks - this option removes all punctuation marks from the cells as well as the following symbols: mathematical, geometric, technical and currency symbols, letter-like symbols such as ?,1, and ™.
    Remove character sets
    Remove a substring. Delete any combination of characters like a word from the selected cells. Remove a substring in Excel
  4. Click the Remove button to enjoy quick results.
  5. Remove characters by position

    The Remove Characters tool will help you delete characters depending on their location in the selected cells. You can get rid of the first or last characters, or remove everything before or after certain text.

    1. To remove characters by position, select the range in Excel with the cells that contain values you want to delete.
    2. Expand the group Remove characters by position. Expand the group Remove characters by position
    3. Select one of the following radio buttons.
      • The first N characters. This option lets you delete any number of characters at the beginning of the selected cells in Excel.
      • The last N characters. Remove any number of characters at the end of the selected cells.
      • All characters before text. Delete any values in Excel before the specified character or string in the range you select.
      • All characters after text. Remove everything after the specified character or string in the selected cells.
      Remove the first or last characters, or everything before or after certain text
    4. Press the Remove button to see the results.

    Thus you can clean your data in Excel and remove all kinds of symbols - from unwanted or forbidden characters to non-printing characters and line breaks.

Contact us
  Publish your message on our support forum

Our working hours: 0am to 10am PST; 3am to 1pm EST; 8am to 6pm CET.

Ultimate Suite for Excel Professionals
60+ professional tools for Excel 2016-2007 to do your daily work
Incredible product, even better tech support…AbleBits totally delivers!
Deborah Bryant
Anyone who works with Excel is sure to find their work made easier
Jackie Lee
The best spent money on software I've ever spent!
Patrick Raugh
Ablebits is a fantastic product - easy to use and so efficient.
Debra Celmer
Excel is at its best now
Annie C.
I don't know how to thank you enough for your Excel add-ins
Jennifer Morningstar
Anybody who experiences it, is bound to love it!
Kumar Nepa
AbleBits suite has really helped me when I was in a crunch!
Nelda Fink
I have enjoyed every bit of it and time am using it
Christian Onyekachi Nwosu
It's the best $100 we've ever spent!
Mike Cavanagh
I love the program, and I can't imagine using Excel without it!
Robert Madsen
One word… WOW!
Dave Brown
Love the products!
David Johnston
It is like having an expert at my shoulder helping me…
Linda Shakespeare
Your software really helps make my job easier
Jeannie C.
Thanks for a terrific product that is worth every single cent!
Dianne Young
I love your product
Brad Gibson
Sheila Blanchard
Excel add-ins and Outlook tools -