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# excel - adding x's to social security number

Posted on 2016-09-19
Medium Priority
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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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Question by:mkramer777
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 41805114
Can you upload a small sample workbook along with the desired output mocked up manually so that we can visualize your requirement more clearly?
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 41805117
A formula will put the result in a different column, assuming SS# in column B:

="xxx-"&TEXT(B2,"00-000")

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.

Thanks
Rob
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Author Comment

ID: 41805133
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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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 41805193
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.
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Author Comment

ID: 41806988
I must be doing this all wrong.  I tried to go by the instructions but the screenshot shows what I received.
Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.05.31-A.png
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 41807019
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?

Thanks
Rob H
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Author Comment

ID: 41807040
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.
Screen-Shot-2016-09-20-at-11.18.17-A.png
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LVL 33

Accepted Solution

Rob Henson earned 2000 total points
ID: 41807043
That still doesn't answer the question of what is in the cell.

If your values are just numbers, in C1 use:

="xxx-"&TEXT(MID(B1,4,6),"00-0000")

="xxx-"&MID(B1,5,7)

Then copy down column C and copy and paste values into column B as mentioned before.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 41807053
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.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 41807067
Slight amendment, I had the format of the SS# wrong, I was missing a digit.

If just numbers in the cell use:
="xxx-"&TEXT(MID(B1,4,7),"000-0000")

If already spaced with dashes use:
="xxx-"&MID(B1,5,8)
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 41807120
Another way....
As per your screenshot, If your number string is in A1, try this in B1

In B1
``````=SUBSTITUTE(A1,LEFT(A1,3),"xxx")
``````
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 41807138
Assuming SS# is already formatted with dashes and not  a real number with Custom formatting. Still waiting for an answer on that question.
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 41807305
Got it.  Thanks!
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Author Comment

ID: 41807325
Sorry Rob.  CLicked on the wrong area to contact you.  I need the formual to format the ss # so it displays like this:

xxx-xx-8785
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 41807530
="xxx-xx-"&RIGHT(B1,4)
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