SUBSTITUTE function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the SUBSTITUTEfunction in Microsoft Excel.

Description

Substitutes new_text for old_text in a text string. Use SUBSTITUTE when you want to replace specific text in a text string; use REPLACE when you want to replace any text that occurs in a specific location in a text string.

Syntax

SUBSTITUTE(text, old_text, new_text, [instance_num])

The SUBSTITUTE function syntax has the following arguments:

  • Text    Required. The text or the reference to a cell containing text for which you want to substitute characters.

  • Old_text    Required. The text you want to replace.

  • New_text    Required. The text you want to replace old_text with.

  • Instance_num    Optional. Specifies which occurrence of old_text you want to replace with new_text. If you specify instance_num, only that instance of old_text is replaced. Otherwise, every occurrence of old_text in text is changed to new_text.

Example

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.

Data

Sales Data

<

Quarter 1, 2008

<

Quarter 1, 2011

<

Formula

Description (Result)

Result

=SUBSTITUTE(A2, "Sales", "Cost")

Substitutes Cost for Sales (Cost Data)

Cost Data

=SUBSTITUTE(A3, "1", "2", 1)

Substitutes first instance of "1" with "2" (Quarter 2, 2008)

Quarter 2, 2008

=SUBSTITUTE(A4, "1", "2", 3)

Substitutes third instance of "1" with "2" (Quarter 1, 2012)

Quarter 1, 2012

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



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