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Excel For Noobs Tutorial: How to Erase Edit and Replace Data in Excel
Modifying content within a cell is fairly simple. Sometimes you may need to erase, replace or edit content within a cell or multiple cells. In this tutorial we will show you how to perform these actions.
Click on the Home tab. In the Editing group you will see a command named Clear. If you click on the Clear button a drop-down list will appear with different options. You will see Clear All, Clear Formats, Clear Contents, Clear Comments, & Clear Hyperlinks.
- Clear All: If you activate a cell, or multiple cells the Clear All command will clear everything in the cell. This includes all content and formatting such as fills, text colors, borders and anything else within the cell or cells. By clicking this command the cell will return to its default as if no action had ever taken place in the cell or cells.
- Clear Format: By clicking Clear Format you are clearing any cell formats such as fills, number formats, alignments, borders and more. All the content still remains in the cell. If you have content that was expressed in percentages or other number formats, the content will remain but it will appear as a general number. For example, if we have a cellís number format set to percentages and we use the Clear Format command, the number format will be cleared and the content will appear as a decimal instead of a percentage. If it appeared as 5% it would appear as .05 after we clicked Clear Format.
- Clear Contents: This command will clear only the content that the cell contains and nothing else.
- Clear Comments: In Excel you are able to enter in comments. Comments are not actual data within cell. They are simply comment or notes about the cell and the content within the cell. By using the Clear Comments command you are clearing only the comments you have attached to the cell.
- Clear Hyperlinks: In Excel you are able to enter hyperlinks into cells. If you are connected to the internet then you can click on the hyperlink and your browser will open the URL. By using the Clear Hyperlink command you can remove the hyperlink but the actual URL will still remain.
Additional Clearing Methods: There are other shortcuts that can be used to remove content and commands that will remove specific types of formatting such as borders and fills.
- The easiest way to erase content from a cell is by activating the cell and pressing Delete or Back Space. This however only works one cell at a time.
- If you want to remove content from multiple cells simply select the cells, right-click and a short-cut menu should appear. On the shortcut menu select Clear Content and the content and only the content will be erased.
- If you want to delete only specific cell formats but not all, you can use the commands on the ribbon. For example, if you have filled a cell with a color you can simply select the cell or cells, and use the fill command which is in the Font group in the Home tab. Just select the down arrow and click on No Fill. If you want to change to a different format just select the format you want. Formatting cells is very easy. Experiment with different formats on your own and you should become familiar with it pretty quickly.
- Another way to change a cellís formats is to select the cell you want to change, right click and select Format Cells from the shortcut menu. A tabbed dialog box will appear giving you options to edit cell formats.
If you want to replace a cellís content simply activate the cell and enter in your new content. The new content will automatically replace the old content.
You can also replace content by pasting copies of or cut content into a cell that already has content. By doing this the old content will be replaced with the content that you pasted in to the cell.
Editing Cell Content
If you want to edit content directly in a cell you can double click the cell or click on the cell and press F2. If you prefer to edit content within the formula bar just select the cell and click inside the formula bar.
In this tutorial we covered how to clear, replace and edit cell content and formats. The best way to become familiar is to experiment with Excel on your own in combination with these tutorials.
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