MS Excel Tutorial: How to Substitute or Replace Text

Updated on January 3, 2018
nehanatu86 profile image

Neha is a software professional who specializes in ServiceNow Customization and Implementation. She likes writing tutorial articles.

Substitute Formula

Substitute(Text, old_text, new_text, [instance_num]).

Text: Existing Cell to pick up text from i.e., the reference to a cell containing text.

old_text: Text to be replaced.

new_text: New text to replace the old text.

instance_num: This is an optional argument where you can specify the occurrence of old_text that you want to substitute. For example, if instance_num = 1, then only the first occurrence of the old_text is replaced by the new_text. If this field is left blank, then every occurrence of old_text is replaced with the new_text.

Replace abc with xyz.
Replace abc with xyz.


1. Let us assume your sample data looks like this.

Sample data
Sample data

2. If you want to create data in a new column by replacing abc with xyz in column A, you can use the Substitute Formula that is available in Excel.

3. Click on the first cell of column B. From the top header menu, go to Formulas > Text > Substitute.

Formulas - Text - Substitute
Formulas - Text - Substitute

4. Select Substitute and the Formula appears in cell B1. The Formula Builder opens on the right hand-side.

Alternatively, you can type the formula directly into cell B1.

5. To substitute abc with xyz in the Formula Builder, click on the text box for Text and click on the first cell in column A so that A1 appears in the Text field of the Formula Builder.

Alternatively, you can type A1 as the first argument in your formula directly: =Substitute("A1").

6. In the Formula Builder, click on the text box for old_text and type abc.

Alternatively, you can type abc as the second argument in your formula directly: =Substitute("A1","abc").

7. In the Formula Builder, click on the text box for new_text and type xyz.

Alternatively, you can type xyz as the third argument in your formula directly: =Substitute(A1,abc,xyz).

8. Click on the Done button in the Formula Builder to show the result.

Alternatively, you can hit Enter after you finish typing the formula directly in the cell to show the result.

9. To do the same for all the rows, take the cursor to the bottom right corner of the cell B1 and hold & drag till the end of the data to copy the formula to the other cells.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2017 Petite Hubpages Fanatic


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • nehanatu86 profile imageAUTHOR

      Petite Hubpages Fanatic 

      3 years ago from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh

      I'm glad you found it helpful Ronald. Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Ronald Cortez 

      3 years ago

      Thanks for the great info.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)