This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the REPLACE and REPLACEB  function in Microsoft Excel.


REPLACE replaces part of a text string, based on the number of characters you specify, with a different text string.

REPLACEB replaces part of a text string, based on the number of bytes you specify, with a different text string.

Important   REPLACE is intended for use with languages that use the single-byte character set (SBCS), whereas REPLACEB is intended for use with languages that use the double-byte character set (DBCS). The default language setting on your computer affects the return value in the following way:

  • REPLACE always counts each character, whether single-byte or double-byte, as 1, no matter what the default language setting is.

  • REPLACEB counts each double-byte character as 2 when you have enabled the editing of a language that supports DBCS and then set it as the default language. Otherwise, REPLACEB counts each character as 1.

The languages that support DBCS include Japanese, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), and Korean.


REPLACE(old_text, start_num, num_chars, new_text)

REPLACEB(old_text, start_num, num_bytes, new_text)

The REPLACE and REPLACEB function syntax has the following arguments:

  • Old_text    Required. Text in which you want to replace some characters.

  • Start_num    Required. The position of the character in old_text that you want to replace with new_text.

  • Num_chars    Required. The number of characters in old_text that you want REPLACE to replace with new_text.

  • Num_bytes    Required. The number of bytes in old_text that you want REPLACEB to replace with new_text.

  • New_text    Required. The text that will replace characters in old_text.


Copy the example data in the following table, and paste it in cell A1 of a new Excel worksheet. For formulas to show results, select them, press F2, and then press Enter. If you need to, you can adjust the column widths to see all the data.






Description (Result)



Replaces five characters in abcdefghijk with a single * character, starting with the sixth character (f).



Replaces the last two digits (09) of 2009 with 10.



Replaces the first three characters of 123456 with a single @ character.


Applies To: Excel 2016, Excel 2010, Excel Starter, Excel 2013, Excel Online, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011, Excel 2007

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