Excel: How to Make a Dash Become a 0 – Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re working in Excel and need to convert all dashes ("-") to zeroes ("0"), it’s easier than you might think. With a few simple steps, you can replace every dash in your spreadsheet, ensuring your data is clean and accurate. Let’s dive in and get your Excel data looking pristine!

How to Make Dash Become a 0 in Excel

You’re about to transform all those pesky dashes into zeroes in your Excel spreadsheet. Follow these steps, and your data will be uniform in no time.

Step 1: Highlight the Data Range

First, select the range of cells where you want to replace dashes with zeroes.

Click and drag your mouse over the cells that contain dashes. If your dataset is large, you can click the first cell, hold the Shift key, and then click the last cell in the range to highlight everything in between.

Step 2: Open the Find & Replace Dialog

Next, bring up the Find & Replace tool by pressing Ctrl+H on your keyboard.

This shortcut opens a dialog box where you can specify what to find and what to replace it with. It’s a powerful tool that saves you from manually editing each cell.

Step 3: Enter Dash in the "Find what" Field

In the Find & Replace dialog, type a dash ("-") into the "Find what" field.

This tells Excel what character you’re looking to replace. Ensure the dash appears exactly as it does in your cells.

Step 4: Enter Zero in the "Replace with" Field

Now, type a zero ("0") in the "Replace with" field.

You’re specifying that every instance of a dash should be replaced with a zero. This is the magic part that transforms your data.

Step 5: Click Replace All

Finally, click the "Replace All" button at the bottom of the dialog box.

Excel will scan the selected range and replace every dash with a zero. You’ll get a confirmation message telling you how many replacements were made.

After you’ve completed these steps, all the dashes in your specified range will be replaced with zeroes. Your data will be consistent and ready for analysis or presentation.

Tips for How to Make Dash Become a 0 in Excel

  1. Check Before Replacing: Always review your data range before performing the replacement to ensure you’re not affecting unintended cells.
  2. Use Filters: If you’re only replacing dashes in specific columns, apply filters to isolate your target data.
  3. Backup Your Data: Make a copy of your worksheet before making mass changes to avoid accidental data loss.
  4. Consider Conditional Formatting: Sometimes it’s helpful to highlight cells with dashes before replacing them.
  5. Use Wildcards for Complex Replacements: If your data has varied dashes, learn about Excel’s wildcard characters for more advanced find-and-replace operations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I only want to replace dashes in a specific column?

You can highlight just that column before using Find & Replace. This ensures only the selected cells are affected.

How do I undo a replacement if I made a mistake?

Use Ctrl+Z to undo the last action. This will revert the changes made by the Find & Replace tool.

Can I replace other characters using the same method?

Absolutely. Just enter the character you want to replace in the "Find what" field and the replacement character in the "Replace with" field.

Will this method affect formula cells?

No. This method only replaces values in cells, not the contents of formula cells.

What if my dashes are part of longer text strings?

The Find & Replace tool will replace every occurrence of the dash within text strings as well. If you need more control, consider using Excel functions like SUBSTITUTE.


  1. Highlight the Data Range
  2. Open the Find & Replace Dialog
  3. Enter Dash in the "Find what" Field
  4. Enter Zero in the "Replace with" Field
  5. Click Replace All


Converting dashes to zeroes in Excel is a straightforward task that can save you a lot of time and effort. By mastering the Find & Replace tool, you can ensure your data is clean and consistent, making your analysis or reporting more accurate. Whether you’re prepping data for a big presentation or just tidying up your spreadsheets, these steps will have you covered.

If you’re looking to deepen your Excel skills further, consider exploring topics like conditional formatting, pivot tables, and advanced formulas. There’s always something new to learn, and each new skill will make you more efficient.

So, go ahead and take control of your data today by mastering how to make dash become a 0 in Excel! You’ll be amazed at how much smoother your workflow becomes. Happy Excel-ing!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy