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Formatting Canadian Postal Codes

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Formatting Canadian Postal Codes.

In Canada, postal codes consist of six characters with a space in the middle: a letter, a number, a letter, a space, a number, a letter, and a final number. Thus, A1B 2C3 is a properly formatted postal code. If you are retrieving postal codes from an external database, they might not have the required space in the middle. Excel makes it easy to add such a space.

Let's assume that the improperly formatted postal codes are in column C. In column D you could use a formula such as the following:

=LEFT(B12,3) & " " & RIGHT(B12,3)

This formula uses string-manipulation functions to place a space in between the first and last three characters. Thus, if B12 contained A1B2C3, then the cell with this formula would display A1B 2C3.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1931) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Formatting Canadian Postal Codes.

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Comments for this tip:

Alicia    05 Mar 2015, 10:40
Pange, I would say the easiest way to do this would be to highlight your entire column and use find and replace. In the find box enter a space and in the replace box don't enter anything, click on replace all and you are done.
Pange    23 Jan 2015, 13:44
Is there a way to do this in reverse? I have a list of Canadian postal codes with spaces but the system I'm uploading it to only allows me to import them without spaces.

Thanks!
 
 

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