excel - adding x's to social security number

I have an excel sheet that has names and social security numbers.  I need to update all of the ss #'s to show the number like this:   xxx-98-9744.  The first 3 digits need to be x's.  Any ideas on a formula that I could copy to do this?  I'm not very proficient with excel so I will also need  instructions on how to copy this through the column so each number gets changed correctly.
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Subodh Tiwari (Neeraj)Excel & VBA ExpertCommented:
Can you upload a small sample workbook along with the desired output mocked up manually so that we can visualize your requirement more clearly?
Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
A formula will put the result in a different column, assuming SS# in column B:


Copy down the column as far as required. You can then copy all of the results and do a Paste Values back into column B if you want to overwrite the original.

mkramer777Author Commented:
Can you show me a screenshot of an excel file that would demonstrate this for me?  Very novice with these things.  Right now I have a column of 50 social security numbers in column B.  Where do I add the formula and how do I copy it to the whole column?
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Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
Copy the formula I gave into cell C2,  assuming it is blank. Hover the mouse over the bottom right corner of cell C2 until the cursors turns to a + symbol; double click and the formula will be copied down as required.

Now select cell C2 as normal with the mouse. On the keyboard press the Shift key and the down arrow key until all the cells with the formula are selected. Now press Ctrl + C to copy these cells. Select B2 and right click. There will be an option to paste values, looks like a square with 123 in it; click that and the values will be pasted in column B. The formulas in column C can now be deleted.
mkramer777Author Commented:
I must be doing this all wrong.  I tried to go by the instructions but the screenshot shows what I received.
Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
Can you upload the file so that we can take a look.

From the screen shot, it looks like the value of 502-98-8984 is in cell B1. For my formula I had assumed that row 1 would be headers so suggested you refer to row 2 in the formula for the first value.

Also it looks like you have the value with 9 digits spaced with a couple of dashes, that is not the impression I got from the question.

So, I assume you want the first three characters converted to xxx and the remainder added to the end. Is that correct? Are the dashes as a result of special formatting or actually contained in the cell; I know there is a Built In format for SS#s.

When cell B2 is selected, what is in the formula bar, is it '502-98-8984 or just 502988984?

Rob H
mkramer777Author Commented:
It is just one column of social security numbers.  Need the formula to format the first 3 numbers of the ss # into x's so the number will look like this:   xxx-111-1112

Here is a screenshot.  Probably explained it wrong.
Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
That still doesn't answer the question of what is in the cell.

If your values are just numbers, in C1 use:


If your values already have the dashes, in C1 use:


Then copy down column C and copy and paste values into column B as mentioned before.

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Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
Your latest screenshot (not useful, files are better) shows the values in column A rather than column B as per first screenshot.

Change reference to B1 in formulas above to A1.
Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
Slight amendment, I had the format of the SS# wrong, I was missing a digit.

If just numbers in the cell use:  

If already spaced with dashes use:
Subodh Tiwari (Neeraj)Excel & VBA ExpertCommented:
Another way....
As per your screenshot, If your number string is in A1, try this in B1

In B1

Open in new window

Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
Assuming SS# is already formatted with dashes and not  a real number with Custom formatting. Still waiting for an answer on that question.
mkramer777Author Commented:
Got it.  Thanks!
mkramer777Author Commented:
Sorry Rob.  CLicked on the wrong area to contact you.  I need the formual to format the ss # so it displays like this:

Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
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