# REGEXEXTRACT in Google Sheets: A Comprehensive Guide

Published: August 26, 2024 - 3 min read

Are you struggling to extract specific data from text strings in Google Sheets? The REGEXEXTRACT function can be a powerful tool for this task, but it often intimidates users unfamiliar with regular expressions. This guide will demystify REGEXEXTRACT, walking you through its usage from basic concepts to advanced techniques.

Let’s look at a simple example to illustrate the basic usage of REGEXEXTRACT:

Suppose you have a cell A1 containing the text “The price is \$25.99” and you want to extract the price.

You can use the following formula:

=REGEXEXTRACT(A1, “\$d+.d+”)

This formula will return “25.99”.

Breaking down the regular expression:

• \$ matches the dollar sign (escaped with a backslash because \$ has a special meaning in regex)
• d+ matches one or more digits
• . matches a literal period
• d+ matches one or more digits after the decimal point

## REGEXEXTRACT Use Cases and Examples

Now that we understand the basics, let’s explore how to use REGEXEXTRACT for various common tasks.

### Extracting Numbers from Text

Extracting numbers is a common use case for REGEXEXTRACT. Here are a few examples:

1. Extracting any number:

=REGEXEXTRACT(A1, “d+”)
This will extract the first sequence of one or more digits.
1. Extracting a decimal number:
=REGEXEXTRACT(A1, “d+.d+”)
This will extract a number with a decimal point.

### Extracting Specific Text Patterns

REGEXEXTRACT is particularly useful for extracting specific patterns of text:

=REGEXEXTRACT(A1, “[A-Za-z0-9._%+-]+@[A-Za-z0-9.-]+.[A-Z|a-z]{2,}”)
This pattern matches most standard email formats.
1. Extracting a URL:
=REGEXEXTRACT(A1, “https?://S+”)
This extracts URLs starting with http:// or https://.
1. Extracting text between quotation marks:
=REGEXEXTRACT(A1, “””(.+?)”””)
This extracts text enclosed in double quotes.

### Working with Dates and Timestamps

Extracting dates and times can be tricky due to varying formats. Here are some examples:

1. Extracting a date in MM/DD/YYYY format:
=REGEXEXTRACT(A1, “d{1,2}/d{1,2}/d{4}”)
1. Extracting a time in HH:MM:SS format:

=REGEXEXTRACT(A1, “d{2}:d{2}:d{2}”)
1. Extracting a date and time in ISO 8601 format:

=REGEXEXTRACT(A1, “d{4}-d{2}-d{2}Td{2}:d{2}:d{2}”)

### Combining REGEXEXTRACT with Other Functions

REGEXEXTRACT becomes even more powerful when combined with other Google Sheets functions. Here’s an example using ARRAYFORMULA:

=ARRAYFORMULA(REGEXEXTRACT(A1:A10, “d+”))

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This formula applies the REGEXEXTRACT function to cells A1 through A10, extracting the first number from each cell.

Once you’re comfortable with basic REGEXEXTRACT usage, you can move on to more advanced techniques.

### Using Capture Groups for Multiple Extractions

Capture groups, denoted by parentheses in regex, allow you to extract multiple pieces of information in one go. For example:

=REGEXEXTRACT(A1, “(d+) (w+)”)

If A1 contains “42 apples”, this formula will return “42” in one cell and “apples” in the next.

## Take Control with REGEXEXTRACT

Using REGEXEXTRACT in Google Sheets allows for focused data extraction and manipulation. Begin with straightforward patterns, test them, and gradually advance to more intricate ones. This function becomes increasingly valuable as you become familiar with it.

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