How to Remove the Apostrophe Prefix From Excel

Written by jim campbell
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How to Remove the Apostrophe Prefix From Excel
Excel uses an apostrophe to indicate a string literal. (number background image by kuhar from

The Microsoft Excel software uses the apostrophe character to indicate that a literal value, or string literal, is entered into the cell. For instance, if you type "1+1" into an Excel cell, the result is displayed as "2." To display the actual text "1+1," you place an apostrophe as the first character. The apostrophe is also used when importing content into an Excel spreadsheet. If you wish to remove the apostrophe from the cell, do so either manually or using the internal "clean()" function.

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  1. 1

    Open your Excel spreadsheet. Click the cell in the spreadsheet that contains the apostrophe.

  2. 2

    Remove the apostrophe from the text box at the top of the Excel spreadsheet. Press "Enter" to save your settings. The apostrophe is removed, and the Excel cell calculates the data instead of displaying a literal.

  3. 3

    Enter the "clean" function in an empty cell to remove an apostrophe from multiple cells. Use the following code in the empty cell:


    Replace "RANGE" with the range of cells you want to edit. For instance, if you want to remove the apostrophes in the "A" column, enter "clean(A:A)" into a blank cell.

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