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Microsoft 365 Insiders can try out new Regex functions in Excel for Windows and Mac apps

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People who work on the Excel spreadsheet and who are members of the Microsoft 365 Insider program can try out some new functions today before they are rolled out to all Excel users. In a post on the Microsoft 365 Insiders blog post, the company says that its members can check out newly added Regular expression (Regex) functions for the Windows and Mac versions of Excel.

Here's how Microsoft describes these new features for Excel:

Regular expressions, or ‘regex’, are sequences of characters that define search patterns, commonly used for string searching and text parsing. They are incredibly versatile and are often used to check if a string contains a certain pattern, extract substrings that match the pattern, or replace substrings that match the pattern.

There are three Regex functions that are available for Insiders to test out in Excel. One is called REGEXTEST. It's been created to see whether the pattern matches any part of the provided text in the Excel app. It shows its answer by returning either a TRUE or FALSE statement.

The second function is REGEXEXTRACT. It's been created to return substrings of text that match the pattern in the app. Microsoft says:

Depending on the return mode, it can return the first match, all matches, or each capture group from the first match.

Finally, there is the REGEXREPLACE. Like REGEXEXTRACT, it also looks for substrings of text that match a pattern. If it does, the function replaces them with a replacement substring.

Microsoft says even more functions similar to the Regex ones are going to be added to Excel in the future:

We will also be introducing a way to use regex within XLOOKUP and XMATCH, via a new option for their ‘match mode’ arguments. The regex pattern will be supplied as the ‘lookup value’.

For now, the first three Regex functions are available for Microsoft 365 Insider Beta Channel users for Windows Excel users with Version 2406 (Build 17715.20000) or later and Mac Excel users with Version 16.86 (Build 24051422) or later.

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