If you’re working with a lot of data in Microsoft Excel, it’s common to encounter situations where you need to extract numbers from a string. You may have a column that includes both text and numbers, or string of characters that includes a numerical value you need to utilize in your calculations. Whatever your reason may be, extracting numbers from a string can be a daunting task for Excel users who are not familiar with the formula. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of extracting number from a string in Excel in a quick and simple way.
What is meant by “Extracting Number from a String”?
Before we dive in, let’s first define what we mean by this. Extracting a number from a string means pulling or identifying only the numerical values in a cell that is mixed with text or other characters. For example, if we have a cell with the following string: “I have 10 apples,” we would extract the number 10 from that cell.
The Formula to Extract Number from String
There are several ways to extract numbers from a string in Excel, but one of the most common is using the combination of the LEFT, RIGHT, LEN, and FIND functions. Here’s how:
Step 1: Use the FIND Function to Locate the First Numerical Value
The first step is to find the position of the first number within the string. You can do this by using the =FIND function. The syntax of the function is:
=FIND(find_text, within_text, [start_num])
In this formula:
 Find_text: This is the numerical value you are trying to extract.
 Within_text: This is the cell or range of cells that contains the text and number you want to extract.
 Start_num: This is an optional argument and specifies the character number in the within_text argument from which the search begins.
If you want to extract the first number in a cell, enter the following formula:
=FIND(1,A1)
This example will search for the first occurrence of the number 1 within cell A1. If the formula returns 4, that means that the first numerical value in the string is found at the 4th character position.
Step 2: Use the LEN Function to Determine the Length of the String
To extract the numerical value, you need to know the length of the string from the start number to the end of the cell. You can use the =LEN function for this purpose. The syntax of the LEN function is:
=LEN(text)
In this formula, the text argument is the cell or range of cells that contains the text and number. For example, if you want to extract the numerical value from cell A1, the formula would be:
=LEN(A1)
Step 3: Use the RIGHT or LEFT Function to Return the Number
Finally, you can use either the =RIGHT or =LEFT function to return the numerical value based on the start number and length of the string. If the numerical value is at the beginning of the string, use LEFT. If it’s at the end of the string, use RIGHT. The syntaxes of the functions are:
 LEFT: =LEFT(text, [num_chars])
 RIGHT: =RIGHT(text, [num_chars])
To extract the numerical value based on the start position and length of the string, use a combination of the FIND, LEN, and either LEFT or RIGHT functions. Here is an example:
=RIGHT(A1,LEN(A1)FIND(" ",A1,1))
In this formula, we are using the RIGHT function to return the numerical value at the end of the string. We are also using the FIND function to locate the space in the string, which separates the text from the numerical value. The LEN function is subtracted from the number returned by the FIND function to determine the length of the string.
In conclusion
Extracting numbers from a string in Excel may seem complicated at first, but it’s actually a straightforward process using the right formula. By mastering this formula, you’ll be able to easily extract numerical data needed for your analysis and reporting.
Alternate Methods for Extracting Numbers from a String
In addition to the method outlined above, there are a few alternative options for extracting numbers from a string in Excel that you may find helpful.
Using Flash Fill
If you’re using Excel 2013 or later versions, you can use the Flash Fill feature to extract information from a string automatically. This is a great option if you have a lot of data. Here’s how to use it:
 Enter one or two examples of the desired output in adjacent columns.
 Select the adjacent columns where you entered the examples.
 Go to the Data tab and click on Flash Fill.
 Excel will automatically extract the information from your string for you.
Using Text to Columns
The Text to Columns feature in Excel is another great option for splitting a string into separate columns or separating out numbers from text. Here’s how to use it:
 Select the data that you want to separate.
 Go to the Data tab and click on Text to Columns.
 Select Delimited or Fixed Width and follow the instructions in the Wizard to separate the data.
 If your data includes numbers and text, use the option “Treat consecutive delimiters as one” to keep the numbers and ignore the text.
Potential Issues to Watch Out For
When extracting numbers from a string in Excel, there are a few potential issues that you should be aware of:
NonNumeric Characters
If your string includes nonnumeric characters, such as commas, spaces, or special characters, these will need to be removed before you can extract the number. You can use functions like SUBSTITUTE or CLEAN to remove these characters before using the FIND, LEN, and RIGHT/LEFT functions.
Varying Number Lengths
If the numerical values you’re trying to extract have varying lengths, you’ll need to use a slightly modified formula. Instead of using the LEN function, use the SEARCH or FIND functions to locate the position of the last numerical character, then subtract that position from the total length of the string.
Text That Includes Numbers
If you have text that includes numbers, such as a zip code or phone number, you’ll need to be careful not to extract any nonnumeric characters. Make sure to specify the exact numerical value you want to extract, such as a sixdigit zip code or tendigit phone number.
In Conclusion
Extracting numbers from a string in Excel can be a bit tricky, but it’s essential if you’re working with a lot of data. By using one of the methods we’ve outlined above, you can quickly and easily extract the numerical data you need for your calculations or analysis. Remember to watch out for potential issues like nonnumeric characters and varying number lengths, and use the appropriate formulas to ensure you’re getting the correct results.
FAQs
Here are some commonly asked questions related to extracting numbers from a string in Excel:
Can I extract numbers from a string without using a formula?
If you’re using Excel 2013 or later versions, you can use the Flash Fill feature to extract information from a string automatically, as outlined in the “Using Flash Fill” section above. Otherwise, the most efficient way to extract numbers from a string is by using formulas.
What if the numbers I want to extract have varying lengths?
If the numerical values you’re trying to extract have varying lengths, use the SEARCH or FIND functions to locate the position of the last numerical character, then subtract that position from the total length of the string. This will help you extract numbers of varying lengths without having to manually adjust the formula each time.
What if my data includes nonnumeric characters such as spaces or punctuation?
If your string includes nonnumeric characters, you’ll need to remove them before you can extract the number. You can use functions like SUBSTITUTE or CLEAN to remove these characters before using the FIND, LEN, and RIGHT/LEFT functions.
Can I extract numbers from an entire column at once?
Yes, you can use the formulas and techniques outlined in this post to extract numbers from an entire column of data at once. Simply apply the formulas to the entire column by dragging the formula down to the other cells.
Do I need to be an advanced Excel user to extract numbers from a string?
Not at all! While extracting numbers from a string in Excel may seem complicated at first, it’s actually a relatively straightforward process using the formula and functions we’ve outlined in this post. With a bit of practice and patience, anyone can learn how to extract numerical data from a string in Excel.
Featured Companies

Learn PowerPoint
Explore the world of Microsoft PowerPoint with LearnPowerpoint.io, where we provide tailored tutorials and valuable tips to transform your presentation skills and clarify PowerPoint for enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Learn Word
Your ultimate guide to mastering Microsoft Word! Dive into our extensive collection of tutorials and tips designed to make Word simple and effective for users of all skill levels.

Resultris Marketing
Boost your brand's online presence with Resultris Content Marketing Subscriptions. Enjoy highquality, ondemand content marketing services to grow your business.
Trending
Other Categories
 Basic Excel Operations
 Excel Addins
 Excel and Other Software
 Excel Basics and General Knowledge
 Excel Cell References and Ranges
 Excel Charts and Graphs
 Excel Data Analysis
 Excel Data Manipulation and Transformation
 Excel Data Validation and Conditional Formatting
 Excel Date and Time Functions
 Excel Errors
 Excel File Management
 Excel Formatting and Visual Adjustments
 Excel Formulas and Functions
 Excel Integration and Conversion
 Excel Linking and Merging
 Excel Macros and VBA
 Excel Printing
 Excel Settings
 Excel Tips and Shortcuts
 Excel Training
 Excel Versions
 Form Controls and User Interaction
 How To
 Pivot Tables
 Working with Text