How to Remove Prefix in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide for Easy Editing

Learning how to remove a prefix in Excel can make your data cleaner and more readable. Essentially, this task involves taking a set of text strings and trimming off unwanted characters at the beginning. You can do this with a quick formula or by using Excel’s built-in tools. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be equipped to handle prefix removal like a pro.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Remove Prefix in Excel

You’ll learn how to remove prefixes from text strings, making your Excel data more manageable and visually appealing.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Workbook

First, open the Excel workbook containing the data you want to clean up.

Ensure that the data with the unwanted prefix is visible.

Step 2: Identify the Cell Range

Step 2: Identify the range of cells from which you want to remove the prefix.

It’s easier to work with a specific range rather than the entire sheet.

Step 3: Insert a New Column

Step 3: Insert a new column next to the data that contains the unwanted prefix.

This new column will hold the cleaned-up text.

Step 4: Use the RIGHT Function

Step 4: In the first cell of the new column, enter the formula =RIGHT(A1, LEN(A1) - n) where A1 is the cell with the prefix, and n is the number of characters in the prefix.

For example, if your prefix is "ABC" and it is 3 characters long, n should be 3.

Step 5: Copy The Formula Down

Step 5: Use the fill handle to drag the formula down through the rest of the new column.

This will apply the formula to all corresponding cells.

Step 6: Paste Values Only

Step 6: Select the cells with the formula, copy them, and then paste them as values.

This will remove the formulas and leave you with just the cleaned data.

After completing these steps, the prefixes will be removed, and your data will be much cleaner and easier to work with.

Tips for Removing Prefix in Excel

  • Use the "Text to Columns" feature: This is another way to remove prefixes if they are separated by a delimiter.
  • Use the SUBSTITUTE function: For more complex text strings where the prefix isn’t a fixed length.
  • Check for hidden characters: Sometimes whitespace or invisible characters can affect your results.
  • Always back up your data: Before making bulk changes, ensure you have a backup.
  • Experiment in a new sheet: Test your formula in a new sheet or column before applying it to your main data.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my prefix length varies?

Use the FIND function combined with RIGHT or MID to handle varying prefix lengths.

Can I remove multiple prefixes at once?

Yes, you can nest SUBSTITUTE functions or use a more advanced formula involving FIND and MID.

Is there a way to automate the process?

You could use VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) to automate prefix removal for large datasets.

Can I remove prefixes from non-text data?

Yes, but you might need to convert numbers to text first using the TEXT function.

Will this method work in Google Sheets?

Yes, similar functions like RIGHT, LEN, and MID are available in Google Sheets.


  1. Open Your Excel Workbook
  2. Identify the Cell Range
  3. Insert a New Column
  4. Use the RIGHT Function
  5. Copy The Formula Down
  6. Paste Values Only


Removing prefixes in Excel isn’t just a neat trick; it’s a vital skill for keeping your data clean and professional. Whether you’re dealing with product codes, email addresses, or any other text strings, knowing how to trim unwanted characters can save you a lot of time and hassle. Feel free to revisit this guide whenever you need a quick refresher. And if you’re looking to deepen your Excel skills, there are plenty of resources and courses available online. Happy data cleaning!

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