Substitutes new_text for old_text in a text string. Use SUBSTITUTE when you want to replace specific text in a text string; use REPLACE when you want to replace any text that occurs in a specific location in a text string.



Text     is the text or the reference to a cell containing text for which you want to substitute characters.

Old_text     is the text you want to replace.

New_text     is the text you want to replace old_text with.

Instance_num     specifies which occurrence of old_text you want to replace with new_text. If you specify instance_num, only that instance of old_text is replaced. Otherwise, every occurrence of old_text in text is changed to new_text.


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

ShowHow to copy an example

  1. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  2. Select the example in the Help topic.

 Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help
  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.
  3. 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.
Sales Data
Quarter 1, 2008
Quarter 1, 2011
Formula Description (Result)
=SUBSTITUTE(A2, "Sales", "Cost") Substitutes Cost for Sales (Cost Data)
=SUBSTITUTE(A3, "1", "2", 1) Substitutes first instance of "1" with "2" (Quarter 2, 2008)
=SUBSTITUTE(A4, "1", "2", 3) Substitutes third instance of "1" with "2" (Quarter 1, 2012)
Applies to:
Excel 2007