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Replacing Dashes with Periods

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: Replacing Dashes with Periods.

If you have a need to normalize the appearance of your data, you might want to replace any dashes in a text string with periods. For instance, if you have a phone number such as "123-555-1212" you might want to change it to "123.555.1212". This is easy to do using the SUBSTITUTE function:

=SUBSTITUTE(A7,"-",".")

The result is that any dashes appearing in the string in cell A7 are replaced with periods.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2995) 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: Replacing Dashes with Periods.

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Comments for this tip:

JMJ    18 Nov 2014, 09:08
@Carlos
You have to have your cells formated as "text" before making the replacement, in order to prevent Excel to make "intelligent" assumptions...
Carlos    02 Sep 2014, 14:36
I am trying something similar to Jasmin, but instead I am trying to change periods into dashes "1234-12.1" to "1234-12-1". When I use the search and replace in Excel 2013 it changes the format to a date "1234/12/1". Is there a way that I can do this easily without having to do it one by one? VB Posssibly?
awyatt    25 Jun 2012, 09:58
Jasmin,

If you change 123-4500 into 123.4500, then Excel treats it as a number where the trailing zeroes are not significant. If you want those zeroes to be displayed, format the cells so that four digits after the decimal point are always displayed.

-Allen
Jasmin    21 Jun 2012, 13:25
The find-replace doesn't always work to replace dashes with periods. I have a number that ends in 1 or 2 zeros (ex. 123-4500), and if you change the dashes into periods, its REMOVES the zeros at the end if the number ends in 1 or more zeros. How do I keep all zeros in tact??? PLEASE HELP! Thanks.
allan    06 Dec 2011, 12:09
or you may just use the find and replace command. select all cells that you want to replace. select the find and replace command. put the dash character "-" in the find what box, and in the replace with box, put the period character ".". then select replace all. thanks.
Joel    27 Nov 2011, 14:25
Hello.
This is also possible using the Find & Replace feature (ctrl+H). Saves having to type in a formula and copy/paste/values.
 
 

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