Mastering Excel A Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing Words

how to replace a word in excel


Excel is a powerful tool for data management, analysis, and visualization. One common task is replacing specific words or phrases within a worksheet. Whether you need to correct errors, update terminology, or enhance consistency, knowing how to replace words efficiently can save time and effort. In this article, we will explore various methods to replace words in Excel, empowering you to become a proficient user.

Using the Find and Replace Feature 

Excel’s Find and Replace feature is the most straightforward method to replace words or phrases within a worksheet. Here’s how you can utilize it

  • Press Ctrl + F or navigate to the “Home” tab and click on the “Find & Select” button, then select “Replace.”
  • In the “Find what” field, enter the word or phrase you want to replace.
  • In the “Replace with” field, enter the new word or phrase.
  • Choose options such as case sensitivity or searching within formulas if necessary.
  • Click “Replace” to replace words individually or “Replace All” to replace all instances at once.

Employing Formulas for Word Replacement 

Excel’s formulas offer a dynamic way to replace specific words or phrases throughout your worksheet. The SUBSTITUTE function comes in handy for this task

  • Start by entering the SUBSTITUTE formula in an empty cell: “=SUBSTITUTE(CellReference, “WordToReplace”, “ReplacementWord”)”.
  • Replace “CellReference” with the appropriate cell reference where the word exists.
  • Replace “WordToReplace” with the word you want to replace.
  • Replace “ReplacementWord” with the new word you want to insert.
  • Copy the formula down the column to apply it to other cells containing the word.

Utilising VBA Macros 

For advanced users, Excel’s Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) allows automation of complex tasks, including word replacement. Follow these steps

  • Press Alt + F11 to open the VBA editor.
  • Insert a new module by clicking “Insert” and selecting “Module.”
  • In the module window, enter the following VBA code:


Sub ReplaceWords()

    For Each cell In Range(“A1:A10”) ‘Modify the range as per your data

        cell.Value = Replace(cell.Value, “WordToReplace”, “ReplacementWord”)

    Next cell

End Sub


  • Modify the range “A1:A10” to match the range containing the words you want to replace.
  • Replace “WordToReplace” with the word you want to replace and “ReplacementWord” with the new word.
  • Press F5 or click “Run” to execute the macro and replace the words.


How do I replace multiple texts in Excel?

To do mass replacement in your worksheet, head over to the Ablebits Data tab and click Substring Tools > Replace Substrings. The Replace Substrings dialog box will appear asking you to define the Source range and Substrings range.

How do you find and replace in multiple texts?

Press Ctrl+Shift+H as a shortcut to find and replace a string in multiple files.


Replacing words in Excel can be a simple yet powerful technique for data management and analysis. Whether you choose to use the Find and Replace feature, formulas, or VBA macros, understanding these methods empowers you to efficiently manipulate your data. Remember to carefully review your changes before applying them and create backups of your files to avoid unintended consequences. With these tools at your disposal, you can become a proficient Excel user and handle word replacement tasks with ease.

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