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VBA - Remove all dashes in cells when dash does not have a number before and after it.

Posted on 2015-01-18
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Last Modified: 2015-01-18
I have this code where i replace all dashes with an empty space.

Columns("C").Replace " - ", " ", xlPart, xlByRows, True

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Now, I would like to replace dashes when the character before AND after are not numbers.
(Format NUMBER & DASH & NUMBER)

Ex:
If I have in the cell:
St-Mary  1234-56

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I see 2 dashes in the same cell. But one of them as a number before and after the dash. So the macro would only replace the St-Mary to St Mary.

If for example i have in the cell:
10234 Saint-John auto parc-0234

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In this cell, Saint-John dash would be removed as i see a letter before and after the dash, and parc-0234 dash also would be removed as i don't have a combination of a Number before and after the dash.
So it would return to: 10234 Saint John auto parc 0234.

If i have in the cell:
1234 -123456

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Since before the dash, there is an empty space, it would remove the dash as only format Number & dash & number needs to stay the same. So the result would be: 1234 123456

I need to specify that the text in each cells of column C may have different characters length.

How can i do that.

Thanks again.
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Question by:Wilder1626
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Expert Comment

by:Michael74
Comment Utility
Add VBA reference to "Microsoft VBScript Regular Expressions 5.5" and then use the following function

Function RegexReplace(str As String) As String

    Dim regEx As New RegExp
    Dim matchPattern As String, replacePattern As String
    Dim match As Boolean
    
    matchPattern = "(\D+)(-)(\D+)?"
    replacePattern = "$1 $3"
    
    With regEx
        .Global = True
        .MultiLine = True
        .IgnoreCase = False
        .Pattern = matchPattern
    End With
        
    match = regEx.test(str)
       
    While match
        str = regEx.Replace(str, replacePattern)
        match = regEx.test(str)
    Wend
    
    RegexReplace = str

End Function

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Replace-Example.xlsm
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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
Comment Utility
I would not define the dash as an own capture group, as we don't want to keep or work with it. Further the regex shown will work only if there is no digit on either side. I.e.:
    matchPattern = "(\D+)-(.*)|(.*)-(\D+)"
    replacePattern = "$1 $3"

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Author Comment

by:Wilder1626
Comment Utility
It looks like it work as a formula, but i will just need to transfer that into a macro.

I need to be able to replace actual cell, and not use another cell to give me the results needed.
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Expert Comment

by:Michael74
Comment Utility
@Wilder1626 the function provided will happily replace the cell contents I just implemented it this way to give a demo.

eg

Range("A1").Text = RegexReplace(Range("A1").Text)

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Author Comment

by:Wilder1626
Comment Utility
That was one of the thing i jtested using your file, but i was getting an runtime error 424: Object required.

Range("A1").Text = RegexReplace(Range("A1").Text)

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Accepted Solution

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Michael74 earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
Sorry use

Range("A2").Value = RegexReplace(Range("A2").Text)

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Author Closing Comment

by:Wilder1626
Comment Utility
Thanks for your help

I was able to tweak it to:

Dim i As Integer
Dim LastRow As Integer

LastRow = [A65536].End(xlUp).Row
 For i = LastRow To 2 Step -1

If Cells(i, 1) <> "" Then
 Cells(i, 1).Value = RegexReplace(Cells(i, 1).Text)
End If

Next i
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Expert Comment

by:Michael74
Comment Utility
Cool. Just a hint

The following will find the last row and work on all versions of excel. Just replace the "A" for the column you want to use.

lastrow = Range("A" & rows.count).end(xlup).row

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Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
Comment Utility
Using which regex?
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