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I have a column in an excel document that each entry has a trailing space. When I copy/paste the value into another form I have to manually remove the trailing space. Is there an easy way to batch remove all the trailing spaces through an entire column?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Its a 2 step process:

Use the TRIM function


To remove the spaces. Basically make a parallel column that is TRIMmed. Copy the trimmed cells, then PASTE SPECIAL to paste the VALUES back to your original cells.

Clarified step by step:

  • Make a new column with =TRIM(old column) in the cells

  • Select that whole column (the new one with the formula)

  • Copy that whole column

  • Select the whole OLD column with the trailing spaces

  • Right click it

  • Select "Paste Special"

  • Hit the radio button for "Values"

  • Hit "OK"

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So I select the column that has "=TRIM(CELL)" in each cell, copy it, then paste special on to the column that I need to be trimmed? That does not work for me. – GavinR Jul 29 '10 at 21:16
Hmm, it should. You may need to paste once more into a 3rd column to get a column with just the values to paste back into the target column. – JNK Jul 29 '10 at 23:14
It worked for me. I'll clarify the answer. – JNK Jul 30 '10 at 0:27

If the content is numeric values with trailing spaces you can select the column, edit>copy and into another column paste special>values>add and skip doing the trim. If it is text, do as mentioned previously by JNK

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