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# Find and replace a letter to 0 in front of exisiting numbers

Posted on 2011-09-08
Medium Priority
209 Views
Hello,

I have over 10000 rows and in one column have values (ex. S012224). I want to replace the S to a zero but when I use the find and replace method the leading zeros disappear. All the fields are formatted as text yet excel thinks its a number after I execute the replacement. I also want to avoid using '0 in the replace with field. How do I change this so that the leading zeros do not disappear?

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Question by:Jintonix415
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LVL 50

Assisted Solution

Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE) earned 400 total points
ID: 36506342
Hello,

Instead of find and replace, you could use a helper column with this formula

=SUBSTITUTE(A1,"S","0")&""

Then copy the helper column and use Paste Special - Values to paste over the original data. Delete the helper column.

cheers, teylyn
0

LVL 7

Accepted Solution

andymacf earned 1200 total points
ID: 36506351
In the 'Format Cells' area, select 'Custom' under the number tab and in the 'Type' field type the number of zeros depending on how many you digits you want to display and this will populate the field with the same amount of digits each time

Hope this helps
Andy
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LVL 16

Assisted Solution

Alan earned 400 total points
ID: 36506360
Hi,

If your list is in A1:A10000 then you could enter the following in B1:

=SUBSTITUTE(A1,"S","0")

and copy down.

If you want to replace the first character (whether it is an "S" or anything else) then use this and copy down:

="0"&MID(A1,2,999)

the second would also work in the more specific case of course.

HTH,

Alan.
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