While doing some database work, I found myself needing to replace extraneous tab characters in a couple columns in Excel. Here is how I was able to do it. This method could just as easily be applied to any other control character once you know the ASCII code.

Go into Find/Replace.

In the “Find what” field, just hold down the Alt key and enter 0009.

Release the Alt, and Find/Replace as you usually would.

This will find all the tab characters since 9 is the ASCII code for tab. You can do this for any other ASCII character as well, but I doubt that would come up very often.