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VBA, Remove Non AlphaNumeric Characters from A string

Posted on 2011-09-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi people. Is it there any better way to write the below Function?


Function AlphaNumerize(anyString As String) As String

AlphaNumerize = Replace(anyString, "-", "")
AlphaNumerize = Replace(AlphaNumerize, "(", "")
AlphaNumerize = Replace(AlphaNumerize, ")", "")
AlphaNumerize = Replace(AlphaNumerize, "_", "")
AlphaNumerize = Replace(AlphaNumerize, "\", "")
AlphaNumerize = Replace(AlphaNumerize, "/", "")
AlphaNumerize = Replace(AlphaNumerize, "<", "")
AlphaNumerize = Replace(AlphaNumerize, ">", "")
AlphaNumerize = Replace(AlphaNumerize, "=", "")


End Function

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Question by:New_Alex
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Accepted Solution

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Patrick Matthews earned 500 total points
ID: 36518743
To get rid of every character that is not a digit or letter, I would use Regular Expressions.

1) Add this function to a regular VBA module:

Function RegExpReplace(LookIn As String, PatternStr As String, Optional ReplaceWith As String = "", _
    Optional ReplaceAll As Boolean = True, Optional MatchCase As Boolean = True, _
    Optional MultiLine As Boolean = False)
    
    ' Function written by Patrick G. Matthews.  You may use and distribute this code freely,
    ' as long as you properly credit and attribute authorship and the URL of where you
    ' found the code
    
    ' For more info, please see:
    ' http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/Programming/Languages/Visual_Basic/Using-Regular-Expressions-in-Visual-Basic-for-Applications-and-Visual-Basic-6.html
    
    ' This function relies on the VBScript version of Regular Expressions, and thus some of
    ' the functionality available in Perl and/or .Net may not be available.  The full extent
    ' of what functionality will be available on any given computer is based on which version
    ' of the VBScript runtime is installed on that computer
    
    ' This function uses Regular Expressions to parse a string, and replace parts of the string
    ' matching the specified pattern with another string.  The optional argument ReplaceAll
    ' controls whether all instances of the matched string are replaced (True) or just the first
    ' instance (False)
    
    ' If you need to replace the Nth match, or a range of matches, then use RegExpReplaceRange
    ' instead
    
    ' By default, RegExp is case-sensitive in pattern-matching.  To keep this, omit MatchCase or
    ' set it to True
    
    ' If you use this function from Excel, you may substitute range references for all the arguments
    
    ' Normally as an object variable I would set the RegX variable to Nothing; however, in cases
    ' where a large number of calls to this function are made, making RegX a static variable that
    ' preserves its state in between calls significantly improves performance
    
    Static RegX As Object
    
    If RegX Is Nothing Then Set RegX = CreateObject("VBScript.RegExp")
    With RegX
        .Pattern = PatternStr
        .Global = ReplaceAll
        .IgnoreCase = Not MatchCase
        .MultiLine = MultiLine
    End With
    
    RegExpReplace = RegX.Replace(LookIn, ReplaceWith)
    
End Function

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2) Use a formula like this:

=RegExpReplace(A2,"[^A-Za-z0-9]")

That will remove all non-letters and non-digits.

For more about Regular Expressions, please see:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Languages/Visual_Basic/A_1336-Using-Regular-Expressions-in-Visual-Basic-for-Applications-and-Visual-Basic-6.html
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Author Closing Comment

by:New_Alex
ID: 36518809
Thank you SIR !
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:Patrick Matthews
ID: 36518832
New_Alex,

Glad to help!  If you have not already done so, I would really appreciate it if you could please return to my article
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Programming/Languages/Visual_Basic/A_1336-Using-Regular-Expressions-in-Visual-Basic-for-Applications-and-Visual-Basic-6.html
and click 'Yes' for the 'Was this helpful?' voting.

Patrick
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