How to Remove Leading & Trailing Spaces in Microsoft Excel 2010

In this article, we will learn about how to use the TRIM function in Excel to remove all spaces and non-breaking spaces.

TRIM function in Excel

TRIM function is a TEXT function in Excel used to remove all extra spaces from the text string except for single space between words.



Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example.

Here we have some unedited text and we need to refine all unedited texts.

Use the formula:


And copy and paste the formula to the remaining cells using the shortcut Ctrl + D or dragging it down from the right bottom of the formula cell upto the required cell.

As you can all the Leading and trailing spaces are removed with single space from the Text.

Alternate Idea

Sometimes text values contain leading, trailing, or multiple embedded spaces. We need to remove them so that the formula referencing these cells calculate correctly.

There are two ways we can remove these spaces:

1) Using Trim & Substitute Function

2) Replace command

Trim: Removes all spaces from a text string except for single spaces between words.




Column A contains text with leading spaces in front of the text. These spaces have been removed by using the Trim Function. See below screenshot:

If the data contains leading spaces & more than one space in between the text then the Trim Function will not remove all of them. Cell A1 contains text with leading space & space in between the text. Trim will remove all the leading space except the space in between the text.See below screenshot:

Alternatively, we can use the Substitute Function in case we know our text contains spaces in between the words and need to be removed.

Substitute: Substitute replaces existing text with new text in a text string.

Syntax =SUBSTITUTE(text,old_text,new_text,instance_num)

See below picture. The Substitute function replaces the space in between the text with “nothing”. Hence, the space gets removed.

If the data contains a leading space & more than one space in between the text then the Substitute Function will remove all of them. Cell A1 contains text with leading spaces& spaces in between the text. The Substitute function will remove all the spaces.See the below screenshot:

Method 2:

We can also use the Replace command to remove the unwanted spaces. This command works similarly as the Substitute function. The keyboard shortcut is Ctrl + H

    • Replace command can be used in case we know our text contains spaces in between the text&we need to remove them.
    • In Find what: write space by pressing the space bar key once.
    • In Replace with: NULL
    • We cannot see the entry in the Find What box because we have put a space there. Click on Replace All till you see the dialog box showing the text that it could not find any more spaces to replace.

You will get the result below:

So this is how you can remove the leading and trailing spaces and spaces in between the text and make your data more readable.

Remove Trailing Space through VBA

In case you want a VBA code to remove all the trailing spaces in only active sheet then this article will definitely help you. Many times we left a space at the end in error or sometimes we copy data from web & do not notice. In this article, we will learn how to eliminate the space left in error.

Question): In Excel, we can use TRIM function with SUBSTITUTE & CHAR i.e. =TRIM(SUBSTITUTE(A1,CHAR(160)," ")) to remove trailing space at the end of any text.

I would like a Macro to help me in removing all the unnecessary spaces left at the end of the string.

To get the code for removing space at end of the text; we need to follow the below steps to launch VB editor.

  • Click on Developer tab
  • From Code group, select Visual Basic

Copy the following code in worksheet module


Sub trimspace()

    Dim c As Range, rngConstants As Range

    On Error Resume Next

    Set rngConstants = ActiveSheet.UsedRange.SpecialCells(2, 2)

    On Error GoTo 0

    If Not rngConstants Is Nothing Then

        'optimize performance

        Application.ScreenUpdating = False

        Application.Calculation = xlCalculationManual

        'trim cells incl char 160

        For Each c In rngConstants

            c.Value = Trim$(Application.Clean(Replace(c.Value, Chr(160), " ")))

        Next c

        'reset settings

        Application.ScreenUpdating = True

        Application.Calculation = xlCalculationAutomatic

    End If

End Sub

  • This will remove all the spaces at the end.

Note: The above macro will run only on activesheet.

In this way, we can remove the trailing spaces at the end, using VBA code.

Download - Remove Trailing space through VBA - xlsm

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  1. So how do I delete leading spaces? The solutions given delete all spaces. If my data is 123123
    and my result should be 123123, none of the solutions will work as at best (trim), I will be left with 123123 whilst the others will result in 123123.
    Doesn't really answer the "Remove Leading Spaces" question.

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