How to Remove Extra Spaces in Excel

A clean data is our birthright, but sometimes we are not able to access it.

Sometimes, we are not able to use our data as the way we want.

And one of the biggest reasons which make our data unable to use is...

So if you want to use it we need to remove them all.

When you think about this, most of the time when you get data from ERP systems or you have some formulas which not written properly, you get those unwanted white spaces. let's get started.

1. Remove Extra Spaces using TRIM Function [Trailing and Leading]

It happens sometimes that you get trailing and leading spaces in your data and it looks very nasty.

But we have a very simple and easy method to pull out this garbage out and you need only one function to deal with it. 

That's TRIM.

It removes all unwanted spaces from a text string except the spaces between two words, look at the below example.

remove extra spaces from a cell in excel using trim function

As you can see, we have used TRIM to remove all the unwanted trailing and leading spaces from the cell.

There are total 70 characters in the cell and when you have used TRIM, characters count is decreased to 41, that means it has deleted the 29 spaces from the cell.

2. Combine Clean and Trim to Remove Extra Space of Line Break

There is also another possibility that you’ll get a line break in a text string.

In this situation, you need to use combine CLEAN and TRIM where the CLEAN function can remove all non-printing character which includes a line break as well.

remove extra spaces from a cell in excel using clean function

How it Works

First of all, CLEAN removes all non-printing characters from the text string and then TRIM removes all the unwanted spaces from text string other than space between two words.

3. Using Clean, Trim, and Substitute to Remove All the Spaces from a Cell

Here we have another type of issue with these white spaces.

It happens sometimes that we want to remove all type of spaces from a cell. But clean and trim both are not able to remove all type of spaces.

For example, if you have a non-breaking space in a cell, you will not able to deal with it using both of these functions.

And for this problem, you need to combine CLEAN and TRIM with SUBSTITUTE.

Let me show you an example.

In below example, we have a list of mobile numbers in a worksheet and these numbers are surrounded by some unwanted white spaces.

We only need 10 digit mobile number from it.

remove extra spaces from a cell in excel using trim clean substitute

How it Works

SUBSTITUTE helps you to find a specific character or a set of characters from a text string and replace with some other characters or a single character.

4. Using Find and Replace Option to Remove All the Spaces

remove extra spaces from a cell in excel using find replace option
  1. Select the cell or range of cells from which you want to remove white spaces.
  2. Use the shortcut key: Control + H to activate find and replace option.
  3. In “find what” input bar, insert a blank space using the space bar and “Replace With” should remain blank.
  4. Click on the replace all button, you’ll receive a pop-up message about how many blank spaces are replaced.

Alert: Use this method only when you are confirmed to remove all type of spaces from selected cells.

Sample File


Extra spaces are always irritating.

But now you have 4 different methods to remove them and you can choose any of these methods which you think is perfect for you.

I hope this will help you to play well with your data and now you need to tell me one thing.

Do you know another way to deal with this problem?

Please share with me in the comment box, I'd love to hear from you and don’t forget to share this tip with your friends.

About the Author

Puneet Gogia

Puneet is using Excel since his college days. He helped thousands of people to understand the power of the spreadsheets and learn Microsoft Excel. You can find him online, tweeting about Excel, on a running track, or sometimes hiking up a mountain.

LinkedIn - YouTube

5 thoughts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

  1. This is a way to remove unwanted extra spaces between words, like in
    ‘this example’
    It will in three steps reduce spaces between words to only one.
    1. Search and replace ‘ ‘ by ‘ |’
    2. Search and replace ‘| ‘ by ”
    3. Search and replace ‘ |’ by ‘ ‘
    In tekst: Search and replace space by space pipe, then pipe space by nothing, then space pipe by space

    Even when there are 100 spaces between the words, these three steps will reduce them to one.

    Essential is that the pipe symbol is NOT used in the file. If you are uncertain about that, search for it before you start replacing or use a string you are most certain of that it does not exist in your file, like ‘xqzxqzxqz’ instead of the pipe symbol.

  2. One more method is there to remove spaces.
    ALT +D+E+W+N+F

    Also note when it comes to N i.e next tab make sure that there is no split line or arrows and then click/press finish.