# Combine the SUBSTITUTE and LEN functions

Uploaded time: November 18, 2021 Difficulty: Primary

### Combine the SUBSTITUTE and LEN functions

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Here is a form recording the personal information of staff. How can we calculate the staff number for each department?

We can combine the **LENS** and **SUBSTITUTE functions** to realize it.

Before starting, let me introduce the **LEN function**. It can return the character number of the text.

Select cell A4. Go to the formula editing box for the **Insert Function** button, and choose the **LENS function**.

Since we want to know the character number in cell A2, we need to enter “A2” as the **TEXT** parameter.

Click **OK**. Then, the result returns as “11”. Note that each punctuation such as a comma(,), a sentence stop(.), and a space( ), are counted as one character.

Next, it's the introduction to the **SUBSTITUTE function**. The **SUBSTITUTE function** is used to replace the old text with the new text.

For example, we can use it to remove all question marks(?) in cell C2. Here are the steps.

1. Select cell C3, click the **Insert Function** button and insert the **SUBSTITUTE function**.

2. Choose the cell for operation as the **TEXT** parameter. Here we choose “C2”.

3. Enter the content to be replaced as the **Old_text** parameter.

Finally, enter a pair of quotation marks () as the **New_text**** **parameter, which means removing the **Old Text**.

In the previous part, we've learned about the** LEN and the SUBST****I****TUTE functions**. In the following part, we'll count the staff numbers by combining these two functions.

From cell B2, we can find that a comma is inserted after each staff's name. So, to be simple, if we can get the comma number, we'll know the staff number. Note that since there's no comma after the last staff's name, the actual amount of staff equals the amount of comma plus one.

Here are the steps to get the result.

First, we use the **LEN function** to find out the number of characters for all employee names in cell B2. In order to avoid taking into account the number of characters for commas, we need to nest the **SUBSTITUTE function** after the **LEN function**. And, we can use the **SUBSTITUTE function** to delete all commas in the text.

Second, we can use the total number of characters in cell B2 to subtract the value just calculated by the nested function.

Third, at the end of the formula, enter “+1”.

The result will return as ”12”.

Finally, use the AutoFill function to get the staff numbers for all departments.

Here's the end of the tutorial. Did you get it?

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