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Guide to Using Wildcards in Excel Worksheet Functions

A limited number of Excel worksheet functions can use wildcard characters to filter results. Here a guide to using them.

by Charley Kyd, MBA
Microsoft Excel MVP, 2005-2014
The Father of Spreadsheet Dashboard Reports

You can use the following characters to filter characters in wildcard functions:

 USE...  TO FIND....
? (question mark) Any single character.
For example, "Bl?ck" finds either "Black" or "Block"
* (asterisk) Any number of characters.
For example "North*" finds "North", "Northeast",
and "Northwest". And "(*)" finds any content enclosed by parentheses.
~ (tilde) followed by ?, *, or ~ A literal question mark, asterisk, or tilde. For example...
...To find "West*" use "West~*"
...To find "West?" use "West~?"
...To find "West~" use "West~"
...To find "West~?" use "West~~?"

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