I have a Google Sheet with example information like this

Education, Conservation, Health, Human rights, Rural development, Poverty alleviation, Water and sanitation.
Human rights, Democracy, Land reform, Entrepreneurship, ICT, Arts & culture

I need to quickly be able to wrap the phrases between the commas with a caret (^) in order for me to then import this sheet into a CRM.

Like this:

^Human rights^, ^Democracy^, ^Land reform^, ^Entrepreneurship^, ^ICT^, ^Arts & culture^

I've now read the Google Sheets documentation and looked and the Example Regular Expressions. I've now looked at numerous ideas on the stack sites and not finding exactly what I need.

Any thoughts?


This formula works:


enter image description here

Why does it work?

  • (\s|^) searches for a space or the beginning of the string
  • ([^,]*) searches for anything but a comma, as many times as possible
  • The parentheses makes sure these 'capture groups' are available in the replace part; $1 is the first capture group, $2 is the second one.

A tool like Regex101 may help discovering what a regular expression does, and experiment a bit yourself.

  • thank you so much...saved a ton of time – Grow Jun 27 '20 at 16:06

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