Removing part of a Description with AutoCat

I want to know if it’s possible to remove part of a Description by running it through AutoCat.

Specifically, whenever a PayPal transaction appears in my account, the Description is “Paypal Inst Xfer PayeeName Web Id: Paypalsi##”. For every different person, the Description uses a different name. I want to be able to get rid of the “Web Id: Paypalsi##” and add “***” to the front of the Description so that it says “***Paypal Inst Xfer PayeeName”

I know that I can create a separate entry for each different name within the AutoCat sheet, but it seems rather inefficient. Is there a better way to achieve this?

@Darrell, sorry for the delayed reply here.

I think you can do this with a Description override column. You will need to add a column to your AutoCat sheet and title it Description.

Your rule would be something like “Description contains: Paypal” and then you’d have ***Paypal Inst Xfer PayeeName in the Description column.

When you run it AutoCat should update the description for any transaction with PayPal in it to ***Paypal Inst Xfer PayeeName.

If the Transactions are already categorized you’d need to run AutoCat on All Transactions rather than just uncategorized, but be careful in that if there is no category selected for that rule it may overwrite any categorizations as blanks.


Thanks for the reply.

Actually, my question was if there’s a method to change the Description by using one rule for multiple scenarios.

I use PayPal a lot, so my Transactions sheet has a lot of Descriptions that look something like this (I’m making up names):

Paypal Inst Xfer John Web Id: Paypalsi77
Paypal Inst Xfer Jane Web Id: Paypalsi77
Paypal Inst Xfer Bill Web Id: Paypalsi87

I was hoping there’s an efficient method using AutoCat so that the Descriptions will be:

***Paypal Inst Xfer John
***Paypal Inst Xfer Jane
***Paypal Inst Xfer Bill

I know one solution to this would be to create separate rule in the AutoCat Sheet for each individual person, with the original description in the “Description Contains” column and the desired change in the “Description” column:

Description Contains Description
Paypal Inst Xfer John ***Paypal Inst Xfer John
Paypal Inst Xfer Jane ***Paypal Inst Xfer Jane
Paypal Inst Xfer Bill ***Paypal Inst Xfer Bill

Maybe it’s just me, but this seems a bit inefficient, so I was wondering if there’s a method to consolidate the rules into a single row.

(Thanks in advance for trying to answer this really annoying itch I have at seeing stuff like this :slight_smile: )

@Darrell, Got it. Thanks for the clarification. I don’t think there is a way to consolidate them into a single row when you’re doing an override on Description. You can use multiple criteria to categorize transactions but it’s essentially one override per rule.

This would be such a useful feature!

My bank adds something like "Debit - Purchase - " before the business name on every single debit transaction. I’d love to have an easy way to remove that without having to create a separate rule for every business I might shop at. Any thoughts?