Regular Expressions Now Available in Excel

    excelThis is for the data-crunching Excel nerds out there – like the folks that compete in the Excel World Championships. First, the popular programming language Python was introduced to Excel. Now, you can now use regular expressions in Excel.

    First off, what is a regular expression (commonly referred to as regex)? Basically, it’s a powerful way to search for a match pattern in text. We won’t go into detail here, as they can get pretty complicated, but you can read this article here to get the basics.

    Using regex in Excel, you can search for, test, replace and extract text in Excel cells. They have three new regex functions:

    Microsoft plans in the future to incorporate a way to use regex within the XLOOKUP and XMATCH functions via a new option for their “match mode” arguments. The regex pattern will be supplied as the “lookup value.”

    While Excel has a lot of functions for many things that regex would be used for, it doesn’t have a function for everything that regex could be used for.

    If you know nothing about regex, that’s totally fine. AI tools are actually pretty good at generating regex expressions, so try asking Copilot or ChatGPT to create one for you and they might create something usable you can then tweak accordingly.

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