Arrow left
Back to guides
Excel Formulas

REPLACE Formula in Excel: Explained

In this article you will learn how to use the REPLACE function in Excel

Where is the REPLACE formula useful?

The REPLACE function in Excel is used to replace a specified number of characters within a text string with a new text string. It is used when you need to make changes to a large amount of text, such as correcting spelling errors, changing names or addresses, or removing unwanted characters.

What are some applications of the REPLACE function?

The REPLACE formula is a useful tool for manipulating text in Excel and can save time and effort when working with large amounts of data. Here are some common uses of the REPLACE function in Excel:

  1. Masking sensitive data: You can use REPLACE to mask sensitive data within a text string, such as a credit card number or a social security number. For example, you can use it to replace all but the last four digits of a credit card number with asterisks.
  2. Removing specific characters from a text string: You can also use the REPLACE function to remove specific characters from a text string. For example, you can use the function to remove all occurrences of a hyphen (-) from a text string.
  3. Replacing a specific part of a text string with new characters: You can use the REPLACE function to replace a specific part of a text string with new characters. For example, you can use the function to replace the first three characters of a text string with new characters.

How to use the REPLACE formula? 

The syntax for the REPLACE function is as follows:

=REPLACE(old_text, start_num, num_chars, new_text)

old_text: This is the original text string that you want to modify. It can be a cell reference or a text string entered directly into the formula.

start_num: This is the starting position of the text that you want to replace. It is the position of the first character you want to replace in the old_text. For example, if you want to replace the second character of a text string, start_num would be 2.

num_chars: This is the number of characters that you want to replace. For example, if you want to replace three characters, num_chars would be 3.

new_text: This is the new text string that you want to replace the old text with.

Note: The REPLACE function may not work for all languages. The REPLACE formula is supposed to be used for the languages that use the single-byte character set, such as English. Thus, it always counts each character, whichever the character is - single-byte or double-byte one, as 1, regardless of your language default setting.

Example of REPLACE function in excel

Analyze your live financial data in a snap in Google Sheets

Are you learning this formula to visualize financial data, build a financial model, or conduct financial analysis? In that case, LiveFlow may help you automate manual workflows, update numbers in real-time, and save time. You can access various financial templates on our website, from the simple Income Statement to Multi-Currency Consolidated Financial Statement. Are you interested in this product but are an Excel user? That’s not a problem at all. You can connect Google Sheets to Excel quickly.

To learn more about LiveFlow, book a demo

Automate any custom financial dashboard in Google Sheets with LiveFlow

You can learn about other Excel and Google Sheets formulas and tips that are not mentioned here on this page: LiveFlow‘s How to Guides

Learn how to do this step-by-step in the video below 👇

Automate financial reporting with LiveFlow

Want to eliminate manual updates of your Excel & Google Sheets models?

Yes, show me how

Need help?

Our team is here to help you any time between 9am and 10pm EST.
Check Icon
Email us at:

Liked this article? Then you'll love the ones below