Excel Functions Tutorials
- Excel Tips
- Excel vs Access
- Excel Rows vs Columns
- Apple Numbers vs Excel
- 3D Reference in Excel
- Absolute Reference in Excel
- Mixed References in Excel
- Excel Reference to Another Sheet
- Array Formulas in Excel
- Arrays in Excel VBA
- Auto Numbering in Excel
- AutoFit in Excel
- AutoCorrect in Excel
- AutoSave in Excel
- AutoRecover in Excel
- Bullet Points in Excel
- Break Links in Excel
- Barcode in Excel
- Change Case in Excel
- CAGR Formula in Excel
- Calculate Age in Excel
- Calculate Percentage in Excel Formula
- Cell Reference in Excel
- Checklist in Excel
- Circular Reference in Excel
- Column Sort in Excel
- Column Lock in Excel
- Move Columns in Excel
- Custom List in Excel
- Consolidate in Excel
- Combine Cells in Excel
- Compare Two Columns in Excel
- Compare and Match Columns in Excel
- Compound Interest Formula in Excel
- Convert Columns to Rows in Excel
- Convert Date to Text in Excel
- Convert Numbers to Text in Excel
- Convert Text to Numbers in Excel
- Convert Excel to CSV
- Count Characters in Excel
- Count Rows in Excel
- Count Unique Values in Excel
- Countif not Blank in Excel
- Create Templates in Excel
- Family Tree in Excel Template
- Custom Number Format in Excel
- Delete Row Shortcut in Excel
- Divide in Excel Formula
- Drop Down List in Excel
- Dynamic Tables in Excel
- Dashboard in Excel
- KPI Dashboard in Excel
- Date to Text in Excel
- Date Format in Excel
- Database in Excel
- Delta Symbol in Excel
- $ Symbol in Excel
- Excel Column to Number
- Edit Drop-Down List in Excel
- Equations in Excel
- Exponents in Excel
- Excel Extensions
- Excel Translate
- Excel Not Responding
- Excel Find and Replace
- Find and Select in Excel
- Excel Subtraction Formula
- Excel Formula for Grade
- Excel as Calculator
- Excel Formula Not Working (Updating)
- Excel Table Styles & Formats
- Excel vs Google Sheets
- External Links in Excel
- Excel Alternate Row Color
- Excel Worksheet Tab
- Extract Number from String Excel
- Evaluate Formula in Excel
- Find Duplicates in Excel
- Finding Links in Excel
- Filter Shortcut in Excel
- Formatting in Excel
- Format Numbers to Millions & Thousands in Excel
- Format Phone Numbers in Excel
- Formula Errors in Excel
- Fractions in Excel
- Frequency Distribution in Excel
- Group in Excel
- Group Worksheets in Excel
- Group Columns in Excel
- Hide Formula in Excel
- Hiding a Column in Excel
- Highlight Every Other Row in Excel
- Highlight Duplicates in Excel
- How to Create a Formula in Excel?
- How to Create an Excel Spreadsheet?
- How to Add Text in Excel Formula?
- How to Create Dashboard in Excel?
- How to Copy Sheet in Excel?
- How to Delete Pivot Table?
- How to Calculate Percentage Increase in Excel?
- How to Multiply in Excel Formula?
- How to Unhide Columns in Excel?
- Insert Date in Excel
- Insert Calendar in Excel
- Import Data into Excel
- Insert Comment in Excel
- Insert Hyperlinks in Excel
- Insert Multiple Rows in Excel
- Insert Row Shortcut in Excel
- Insert New Worksheet in Excel
- Insert (Embed) an Object in Excel
- Insert Image in Excel Cell
- Insert Page Break in Excel
- Line Breaks in Excel
- Linear Interpolation in Excel
- Leading Zeros in Excel
- Last Day of the Month in Excel
- Logical Operators in Excel
- Lookup Table in Excel
- Mortgage Calculator in Excel
- Moving Average in Excel
- Not Equal to in Excel
- Numbering in Excel
- Name Manager in Excel
- Page Numbers in Excel
- Page Break in Excel
- Personal Budget Template in Excel
- Project Management Template in Excel
- Percentage Difference in Excel (Increase / Decrease)
- Pivot Table Calculated Field & Formula
- Pivot Table Sort
- Pivot Table From Multiple Sheets
- Print Comments in Excel
- Print Excel Gridlines
- Print in Excel
- Print Preview in Excel
- Print Area in Excel
- Print Titles in Excel
- Print Labels From Excel
- Project Timeline in Excel
- Protect Sheet in Excel
- Ratio in Excel Formula
- Random Numbers in Excel
- Randomize List in Excel
- Refresh Pivot Table in Excel
- Relative References in Excel
- Remove Blank Rows in Excel
- Remove Duplicates in Excel
- Remove Duplicates from Excel Column
- Remove Hyperlinks in Excel
- Remove Space in Excel
- Remove Leading Spaces in Excel
- Remove Watermark in Excel
- Row Limit in Excel
- Rows and Columns in Excel
- Rows to Columns in Excel
- Row Header in Excel
- Search in Excel
- Search For Text in Excel
- Share an Excel Workbook
- Shortcut to Merge Cells in Excel
- Show Formula in Excel
- Split Cells in Excel
- Separate Text in Excel
- Strikethrough in Excel
- Strikethrough Text in Excel
- Sum by Color in Excel
- Subscript in Excel
- Superscript in Excel
- Themes in Excel
- Timesheet Calculator in Excel
- Top 20 Keyboard Shortcuts in Excel
- Unmerge Cells in Excel
- Uppercase in Excel
- Word Count in Excel
- Word Cloud in Excel
- Watermark in Excel
- Weighted Average in Excel
- Wildcard in Excel
- Financial Functions in Excel (17+)
- Logical Functions in Excel (15+)
- TEXT Functions in Excel (29+)
- Lookup Reference in Excel (44+)
- Maths Functions in Excel (52+)
- Date and Time Function in Excel (22+)
- Statistical Function in Excel (50+)
- Information Functions in Excel (5+)
- Excel Charts (48+)
- Excel Tools (98+)
- VBA (162+)
Wildcards in Excel are the special characters in excel which takes place of the characters in it, there are three wildcards in excel and they are asterisk, question mark, and tilde, asterisk is used to multiple numbers of characters in excel while question mark is used to represent only a single character whereas tilde is referred to the identification if the wild card character.
Excel Wildcard Characters
When we need to match the data in Excel, we can match only if both the sets of data are identical as it is. For example, if you want to match the word “Excel” with the word “Excel 2019” we cannot match because the first word has only the part of the second word. In such situations how do we match only the part of the word? So, to deal with all these we have wildcard characters in excel. In this article, we will guide you wildcard character in excel.
What are the Wildcard Characters?
Wildcard characters special characters that are used to find the result which is less than exact or accurate.
For example, if you have the word “Simple Chat” and in the database, you have “Simply Chat” then the common letter in these two words is “Chat” so using excel wildcard characters we can match these.
Types of Excel Wildcard Characters
There are three types of wildcard characters in excel.
Type #1 – Asterisk (*)
This is to match zero or number of characters. For an example “Fi*” could match “Final, Fitting, Fill, Finch, and Fiasco” etc.…
Type #2 – Question Mark (?)
This is used to match any single character. For example “Fa?e” could match “Face” & “Fade”, “?ore” could match “Bore” & “Core”, “a?ide” which could match “Abide” & “Aside”.
Type #3 – Tilde (~)
This used to match wildcard characters in the word. For example, if you have the word “Hello*” to find this word we need to frame the sentence as “Hello~*”, so here the character tilde (~) specifies the word “Hello” as it is not followed by the wild card character.
Examples of Wildcard Characters in Excel
There can be a lot of examples regarding the wildcard characters in excel.
Example #1 – Usage of Excel Wildcard Character Asterisk (*)
As we discussed asterisk is used to match any number of characters in the sentence.
For an example look at the below data.
In the above data, we have names, with these names we have many names which have the common word “Abhishek”. So by using excel wildcard asterisk, we can count all the “Abhishek” here.
Open COUNTIF function and select the range.
In the criteria argument mention the criteria as “Abhishek*”.
That’s all this will count all the word which has “Abhishek” in it.
Example #2 – Partial Lookup Value in VLOOKUP
VLOOKUP requires an exact lookup value to be matched to fetch the data. This is the traditional slogan but we can still fetch the data by using particle lookup value. For example, if the lookup value is “VIVO” and in the main table if it is “VIVO Mobile” we can still match using excel wildcard characters. We will see one of the examples now, below is the example data.
We have Lookup Table in column A. In column C we have lookup values, these lookup values are not exactly the same as the lookup table values. So we will see how to apply VLOOKUP using wild cards.
First, open VLOOKUP function in the D1 cell.
The first argument is the Lookup Value. One of the problems with lookup value here is we don’t have an exact match so we need to enclose this lookup value with an asterisk before and after the lookup value.
Here we have applied two asterisk characters “*”&C2&”*”. Here asterisk indicates anything in between the wildcard should be matched and return the related result.
Even though we had just “Infosys” asterisk character matched the value in the lookup table and returned the exact result as “Infosys Ltd”.
Similarly, in cell D6 we got error value as #VALUE! because there is no word “Mintra” in the lookup table.
Example #3 – Usage of Excel Wildcard Character Question Mark (?)
As we discussed question mark can match a single character in the specified slot. For an example look at the below data.
In the above data our ideal value should be “Wallstreet Mojo”, but we have several special characters in between. So we will use the question mark to replace all of those.
Select the data and press Ctrl + H.
In FIND What box type “Wallstreet?Mojo” and in Replace With box type “Wallstreet Mojo”.
Click on Replace All. We will get the below result.
Wow!!! Nice isn’t it??
Here all the trick is done by excel wildcard character question mark (?). Let us take look at what we have mentioned.
Find What: “Wallstreet?Mojo”
Replace With: “Wallstreet Mojo”
So, after the word Wallstreet any character comes should be replaced by the space character. So all the special characters are replaced by a space character and we will have a proper value of “Wallstreet Mojo”.
Like this, by using excel wildcard characters we can match partial data and get the job done.
This has been a guide to Wildcard in Excel. Here we discuss the 3 different types of wildcard characters – Asterisk (*), Question Mark(?) & Tilde(~) in excel along with examples and downloadable excel template. You may also look at these useful functions in excel –