CLEAN function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the CLEAN function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) in Microsoft Excel.

Description

Removes all nonprintable characters from text. Use CLEAN on text imported from other applications that contains characters that may not print with your operating system. For example, you can use CLEAN to remove some low-level computer code that is frequently at the beginning and end of data files and cannot be printed.

 Important   The CLEAN function was designed to remove the first 32 nonprinting characters in the 7-bit ASCII code (values 0 through 31) from text. In the Unicode character set (Unicode: A character encoding standard developed by the Unicode Consortium. By using more than one byte to represent each character, Unicode enables almost all of the written languages in the world to be represented by using a single character set.), there are additional nonprinting characters (values 127, 129, 141, 143, 144, and 157). By itself, the CLEAN function does not remove these additional nonprinting characters. For an example of how to remove these additional nonprinting characters from text, see Remove spaces and nonprinting characters from text.

Syntax

CLEAN(text)

The CLEAN function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):

  • Text    Required. Any worksheet information from which you want to remove nonprintable characters.

Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

ShowHow do I copy an example?

  1. Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Online, copy and paste one cell at a time.
    Important: Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help

  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  3. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Online, repeat copying and pasting for each cell in the example.
    Important: For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.
  4. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.

 
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Data
=CHAR(9)&"text"&CHAR(10)
Formula Description (Result)
=CLEAN(A2) Removes the nonprintable characters CHAR(9) and CHAR(10) from the text string above.
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2010, Excel Web App, SharePoint Online for enterprises, SharePoint Online for professionals and small businesses