How to Use the CHAR Function in Excel for Mac

Joshua earned an MBA from USF and he writes mostly about software and technology.

The Purpose of the CHAR Function

The CHAR function gives an Excel user the ability to show the following an abundance of characters. The function uses description numbers that identify these characters to display them. Characters from the following character types can be used in this function.

ASCII (32-126) characters - Printable Characters

ANSI (128-159) characters - Control Characters

ANSI (160-255) characters

The CHAR Function Syntax

The CHAR function needs to be inputted into a cell like a formula to work properly. To manually add this function the following steps need to be taken:

1. A cell needs clicked type "=CHAR(".
2. After the open parenthesis a number needs to be added followed by a closed parenthesis.
3. After the formula is created the formula can be entered into the cell.

Below in bold is the syntax of the CHAR function.

=CHAR(Number)

Number - As stated above, this function will display characters from the 3 character types. The number used in this formula is the description number of a character.

To display all available characters for reference, create a list of numbers from 32 to 255. Enter the CHAR function and reference the cell with the 32. This character will be a space.

Make sure the cell with the formula is selected and double click on the square in the corner of the cell to get the symbols related to the numbered cells to appear. You may also find reference to the characters here.

Inserting the CHAR Function

The CHAR function can be inserted into a cell by first selecting the cell, then clicking in the formulas tab. Next, click on the text button and select CHAR from from the list of functions.

Scroll to Continue

Once the formula builder appears, numbers can be added to see the results at the bottom of this sidebar. This formula builder can be a great help to reference characters.

When the correct character is found the done button can be clicked for the function to be entered into the cell.

References

Microsoft. (n.d.). CHAR function. Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/char-function-bbd249c8-b36e-4a91-8017-1c133f9b837a

Gaijin. (n.d.). ASCII and ANSI Character Table. Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.gaijin.at/en/infos/ascii-ansi-character-table#ansilow

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To learn more about using functions in Excel I recommend The Excel 2019 Bible book. I have been using the Excel Bible for years to improve my understanding of all aspects of this Microsoft product.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.