Excel-ent trim

Find and remove hidden extra spaces in Excel documents with this free add-in.

When you import data in Excel, you also import any blank spaces that come with it, which isn't a problem in day-to-day use. If you try to process the data, though, extra spaces can lead to problems, such as masking duplicate files from tools designed to find and remove them. Trim Spaces for Excel from Add-in Express is a free Excel add-in that can locate and remove leading and trailing spaces in cells in Excel documents.

We installed Trim Spaces in Excel 2010 and opened a spreadsheet. The Trim Spaces Help file opened automatically, while an AbleBits.com tab appeared among the file menus on the Quick Access Toolbar. The tool is very easy to use. We selected a range of cells and clicked the Trim Spaces button on the Ribbon. We clicked Run on the pop-up that appeared, and a progress bar and counters for values processed and values trimmed showed the results, 0 out of 24 values trimmed, meaning there were no hidden leading or trailing spaces. It took us a while to find an Excel document with hidden spaces, but Trim Spaces made short work of them when we did. Most of the time, Trim Spaces probably won't find spaces in your Excel sheets. That's not a problem, though, since making sure there are no spaces is part of this program's job.

Trim Spaces for Excel supports Excel 2000 to 2010 32-bit and Windows XP to 7, including 64-bit editions like ours. It works fast and does what would seem to be a unique and valuable job. It's free, too, so we'd consider it an essential add-on for frequent Excel-ers.

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