Quick, clean, and to the point

Pad text to equal length

Excel formula: Pad text to equal length
Generic formula 

To pad text to an equal length using another character, you can use a formula based on the REPT and LEN functions. In the example shown, a formula is used to append a variable number of asterisks (*) to values in column B so that the final result is always 12 characters in length. The formula in C5 is:


How this formula works

This formula concatenates the original value in column B to a string of asterisks (*) assembled with the REPT function so that the final result is always 12 characters:


Inside the REPT function, the text to repeat is provided as a single asterisk ("*"). The number of asterisks needed for each value is determined with with the LEN function in this bit of code here:


We start with 12, then subtract the length of the text in column B. In cell B5, "Sebastian" is 9 characters, so the result is 3. The formula is evaluated like this:


The results in column C is formatted with a monospaced font (Courier New) to clearly show all strings are the same length.

Dave Bruns

Excel Formula Training

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