IF function with Wildcards

In this article, we will learn about how to use Wildcards with IF function in Excel.

IF function is logic test excel function. IF function tests a statement and returns values based on the result.
Syntax:

=IF(logic_test, value_if_true, value_if_false)

We will be using the below wildcards in logic test
There are three wildcard characters in Excel

  1. Question mark (?) : This wildcard is used to search for any single character.
  2. Asterisk (*): This wildcard is used to find any number of characters preceding or following any character.
  3. Tilde (~): This wildcard is an escape character, used preceding the question mark (?) or asterisk mark (*).

Not all functions can execute Wildcards with Excel functions.
Here is a list of functions that accepts wildcards.

  • AVERAGEIF, AVERAGEIFS
  • COUNTIF, COUNTIFS
  • SUMIF, SUMIFS
  • VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP
  • MATCH
  • SEARCH

Let’s understand this function using it an example.
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Here we have company codes on one side. And we need to find the fields where phrase AT is present anywhere in the code.

IF function doesn’t support wildcards so we will be using the SEARCH function. SEARCH function returns a number if the phrase is present within the text.

Use the formula:

=IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("*AT*",A2)), "AT", "")

SEARCH function accepts the wildcard (*) and finds the phrase “AT”, within A2. It returns a number if SEARCH finds the phrase.
ISNUMBER function finds the number and returns TRUE.
IF function logic_test results in TRUE and FALSE and returns “AT” if True or “”(empty string) if False.
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As you can see the formula catches the AT in A2 cell and returns the phrase. This shows A2 cell has “AT” pharse within text.

Now use the formula in other cells to get all fields containing the phrase “AT”.
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As you can see we used wildcards with IF function to get the result.

Hope you understood how to use in Excel. Explore more articles on Excel cell reference function here. Please feel free to state your query or feedback for the above article.

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