How To Filter Non Alphanumerics Characters From Your String And Its Application In Excel

If you are like me, I have to deal with text a lot in my work. As a programmer, I need to find and match string. Recently, a friend of mine, who is an accountant gave me a list of books’ titles. Most of them are fine. However, there are some contains strange characters and she wanted to remove such titles.

As you can see in the picture, there titles with @ and Chinese characters. Using filters doesn’t work because there are more than 1000 rows. That was when I said to myself: “I need a tool”.

So, I made one for this specific purpose: “to help my friend remove all the strange characters in her Excel workbook”.

Here is how the tool look like:

As you can see, you can put the original text in the source string box, adjust a few options above and click on filter. The result will be shown in the Result string box:

As you can see that all the rows that contain strange characters are removed.

However, what if you have some special characters that is allowed to appear in the title? No worries! You can put that into the Allowed characters box and separated them by spaces.

For example, It is OK for me to have the character @ in the title, I would put @ into the Allowed characters box. In addition, that title Blog@books.de contains the character dot (.) so you need to put that into the list of allowed characters too.

Let’s see what we’ll have:

As you can see now, the title with . and @ is accepted.

There are also two checkboxes that allowed you to filter the text further. You can decide to allow numbers or spaces in the title by checking these checkboxes.

I put the full source code for the tool here:

https://github.com/datmt/Remove-Lines-Contain-NonAlphaNumeric-Characters

If you are not a programmer, you can download the application here to start using it:

Download the .jar file

If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Thank you very much!

Extract List Of Unique Words From a Book, Article (Supports .txt, .pdf format)

As an ESL, I usually wonder: “how many words I need to know to speak English well?”. I read somewhere that you don’t need more than 2,000 words to carry out 99% of daily conversations. 2,000 words don’t seem to be a lot and if I can learn 10 words a day, I can be conversational in any language in just 200 days (less than a year).

So, what if I want to enjoy the novels, books in English, how many words I need to know.

I doubt the number would be a lot more than 2,000 words.

So I made a tool to read all the text in a book (you can select more than one book in .pdf or .txt format) and it will export all the words in that book into a table.

Here are some results:

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

As you can see at the top, there are 6461 different words in this book.

Wuthering Heights

for Wuthering Heights, you need to know 9,456 words.

That’s a lot of words.

The numbers aren’t 100% correct. There are some gibberish such as website address, two letter (like country codes) may get in the list. However, you can roughly estimate that there are 95% of the numbers are real words.

I find that this is a good way to quickly find out new words that I don’t know. I can click on the words to get the definition (if available) on the right.

You can download the program here for free. If you have any suggestion, please let me know.

Download Word Extraction app here