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CLEAN function: Description, Usage, Syntax, Examples and Explanation

What is CLEAN function in Excel?

CLEAN function is one of TEXT functions in Microsoft Excel that removes all nonprintable characters from text. Use CLEAN on text imported from other applications that contains characters that may not print with your operating system. For example, you can use CLEAN to remove some low-level computer code that is frequently at the beginning and end of data files and cannot be printed.

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Important: The CLEAN function was designed to remove the first 32 nonprinting characters in the 7-bit ASCII code (values 0 through 31) from text. In the Unicode character set, there are additional nonprinting characters (values 127, 129, 141, 143, 144, and 157). By itself, the CLEAN function does not remove these additional nonprinting characters. For an example of how to remove these additional nonprinting characters from text, see Top ten ways to clean your data.

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Syntax of CLEAN function


The CLEAN function syntax has the following arguments:

  • Text: Any worksheet information from which you want to remove nonprintable characters.

Example of CLEAN function

Steps to follow:

1. Open a new Excel worksheet.

2. Copy data in the following table below and paste it in cell A1

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Note: For formulas to show results, select them, press F2 key on your keyboard and then press Enter.

You can adjust the column widths to see all the data, if need be.

=CHAR(9)&”Monthly report”&CHAR(10)
Formula Description Result
=CLEAN(A2) Removes the nonprintable characters CHAR(9) and CHAR(10) from the text string in cell A2. Monthly report

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