# How to use the SUBSTITUTE function in Excel

In this article, we will learn How to use the SUBSTITUTE function in Excel.

What is replace and substitute in Excel ?

There are two functions in excel which are used to replace value in already existing values. You must be thinking why Excel gives two similar functions for the same task. There is a huge difference in the usage of two functions.

SUBSTITUTE function substitutes value in place of other given value. For example replace "at" with "on" in text wherever existed or number of times to edit. These flexibilities are handled by SUBSTITUTE function. Unlike the REPLACE function we don't need to provide the position of the replacement text. Let's learn more about SUBSTITUTE function syntax and an example to illustrate its use.

SUBSTITUTE Function in Excel

SUBSTITUTE function replaces one value with another. Use the order of  arguments casrefully.

SUBSTITUTE function Syntax:

 =SUBSTITUTE (text, old_text, new_text, [instance])

Old_text is the find text

New_text is the replace text

[instance] is an optional argument, The instance to replace. If not provided all the instances will be replaced.

Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example. Here we have the same text. We will perform multiple tasks on it.

Use Substitute function to replace 2013 to 2016 (First occurrence)

 =SUBSTITUTE(A2,2013,B2,1)

Use Replace function to replace 2013 to 2016 (First occurrence)

 =REPLACE(A3,17,4,B3)

Now we need to replace both 2013 text

Use Substitute function to replace 2013 to 2016 (All occurrence)

 =SUBSTITUTE(A2,2013,B2)

Here we have some Old_text and other arguments of the SUBSTITUTE function.

Use the formula

 =SUBSTITUTE(A2,B2,C2)

Explanation:

Substitutes the Car from the Text from Bus

Press Enter

Copy the formula in other cells, select the cells taking the first cell where the formula is already applied, use shortcut key Ctrl + D

In the E5 cell. Use the Instance argument

 =SUBSTITUTE(A2,B2,C2,D2)

This will replace the second occurrence from the text not the first.

Here are all the observational notes using the SUBSTITUTE function in Excel
Notes :

1. Use the REPLACE function, if you know the position of the replaced result.
2. Be careful using the order of arguments in the function.

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