5 Lesser-Known Excel Functions You Should Know About

This is not a post on how to use the CONCAT function or how to make a pivot table. There has been plenty written about those useful Excel features.

This post is about 5 functions that you might not know about because they don’t get as much attention in the PPC world.

They are just as useful as the CONCAT function depending on what you’re doing.

Let’s talk about how to use functions really quick before we jump into exact functions.

Excel Functions 101

Excel functions are preset formulas that allow you to quickly carry out a calculation or, in a lot of cases that I have outlined below, a change to text.

You start every function with an equals sign and the name of the function. Excel will outline the needed parameters after that.If you are interested in more about functions, check out this post which features a deep dive on functions.

1. TRIM Function

Have you ever needed to remove extra spaces in your text? Then the TRIM function is your answer.

I use this the most when I am removing the plus signs from broad match modified keywords. There seems to always be a pesky space at the beginning of the word. (I see this the most in data that I pull over from AdWords Editor.)

Use the Replace feature to remove the plus signs in the words.

Then enter =TRIM(your cell) in a new column and drag to apply to as many cells as needed.

You can see that the New Keywords column doesn’t have a space at the beginning of the cell.

You can also use this function to remove double spaces.

You’ll want to make sure you copy and paste the data as values only before continuing to manipulate the data.

2. PROPER Function

Do you ever need to capitalize every word in an ad? Don’t do it by hand, use the PROPER function!

Add a new column beside the data that you want to capitalize and apply the PROPER function.

3. LOWER Function

When it comes to manipulating text in Excel, you definitely need to know about the LOWER function. This allows you to easily make all text lowercase.

You’ll want to make a new column beside existing data and make sure to copy/paste the values before doing anything else.

4. UPPER Function

The opposite of the LOWER function is the UPPER function. This function will capitalize all of the text that you select.

5. EXACT Function

Have you ever had many cells of text that you needed to compare to one another? It would take hours to do this manually, and even then you might miss small details, but with the EXACT function, you can know if your text samples are exactly the same.

It’s easiest to compare side by side, but it’s not necessary if your sheet isn’t set up that way.

Enter the =EXACT function and select the two cells you want to compare.

The function will say FALSE unless everything is the same, including capitalization and punctuation.


Excel functions are a great way to quickly tweak text. Hopefully, these functions will be great additions to your Excel toolbox for tweaks to keywords and ad text.

If you’re interested in learning more about functions and features in Excel and how they can assist in day-to-day PPC work, we recommend these posts:

Did I forget one of your favorite lesser-known Excel functions? I’d love to hear what it is in the comments below!

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