Clean Up Data Imported To Excel

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. When I import data to a worksheet, I sometimes see a bunch of small rectangles in the cells. Although they don’t seem to affect the calculations, I can’t clean them out. Any ideas?

A. What you’re seeing are nonprinting characters. You’re right; they don’t affect the data but they do look messy. Use Excel’s CLEAN function to get rid of them.

If the nonprinting character is in cell A1, go to its adjacent cell, B1, and type CLEAN (A1) and press Enter. Cell B1 will then display the text or data without the nonprinting characters.

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