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: Removing Spaces.

Removing Spaces

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 8, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Do you have a lot of data that contains spaces, and you need to remove those spaces? Perhaps you imported it from another program, or the spaces were entered by mistake. For example, you may have a large number of policy numbers in a worksheet, and there are spaces in the policy numbers. If you want to remove those spaces, there are two approaches you can use.

The first approach is to use the SUBSTITUTE function. Let's say that a policy number is in cell A5. In cell B5 you could use this formula:

=SUBSTITUTE(A5," ","")

The result is that cell B5 contains the policy number with all the spaces removed.

The second approach works well if you have a lot of cells containing spaces, and you want to remove them in one step. Create the following macro:

Sub NoSpaces()
    Dim c As Range

    For Each c In Selection.Cells
        c = Replace(c, " ", "")
End Sub

Select the cells you want to modify, and then run the macro. It examines each cell in the selected range, removing any spaces in that range. The result is then placed back in the same cell.


If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3037) 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: Removing Spaces.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is one less than 8?

2020-03-11 14:50:55

Alan Elston

I think, as I recall , the first few times I used it , I saw the spaces vanish, assumed it was working, and only some time later noticed that all the cells were the same value.
It always works with the IF({1}, as far as I have heard so far , in any Excel Version, new or old.
Its easy to forget/ not notice, especially now since 2016+, - the coercing tricks often aren’t needed anymore. The change causes a lot of confusion: - It also causes problems the other way around as well: Suddenly a macro is not working anymore when used in a newer version because the Evalute(” “) suddenly returns an array when it didn’t before.

2020-03-11 10:12:04

Willy Vanhaelen

Hi Allan,

Indeed I have been to hasty and tested it not enough :-(
You are right, Substitute must be embedded in an IF({1}, ... But then it works in my Excel 2007.

Sub NoSpaces()
Selection = Evaluate("If({1},SUBSTITUTE(" & Selection.Address & ", "" "", """"))")
End Sub

2020-03-11 05:21:10

Alan Elston

Hi Willy.
I don’t doubt your word for 1 second.
It is very strange. I have access just now to about a dozen machines with various versions of Excel 2002 – 2010. I just re checked a few of them, and still get the same results:-
For a selection more than one cell I need a coercion, as discussed at the other of Allen’s space removing blogs
So, for example, I have to do something like this coercion to get more than a single value out:-
Evaluate("If({1},SUBSTITUTE(" & Selection.Address & ", "" "", """"))")
Without the coercion , then usually for Excel 2013 and lower , you get just the result out for the first cell , in all the cells.

About a half a dozen people get similar results to me. That ties up with what I have been seeing often in forums for similer issues:

But I have not tried infinite test data. If you have a file where it is working for you, can you pass it to me , then I will see what happen on my Excels. ( Just click on my name at the left and you should get my E-Mail). I would be interested to investigate this. I keep seeing inconsistent results since Microsoft stated meddling with these things. So maybe we have come across another peculiar effect…..

Alan Elston

2020-03-10 06:59:31

Willy Vanhaelen

I have Excel 2007 and it works there. I suppose it works in older versions as well.

2020-03-09 07:12:54

Alan Elston

That will likely only work for Excel 2016 + , Willy .........

2020-02-22 11:25:21

Willy Vanhaelen

With contiguous ranges you can use this one-liner:

Sub NoSpaces()
Selection = Evaluate("SUBSTITUTE(" & Selection.Address & ", "" "", """")")
End Sub

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