Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Wildcats, I mean Wildcards!

There are so many cool tricks in Excel.  A person could research and talk about them for years.  The use of functions is, of course, the coolest trick of all in Excel.  To make functions even better, however, you can use Wildcards.

The ability to use Wildcards is a very effective feature in Excel.  Several functions can use these handy critters to better filter the results you are attempting to get.

The following is a list of the more common Excel functions that can make use of Wildcards:

·        AVERAGEIF
      ·        AVERAGEIFS
      ·        COUNTIF
      ·        COUNTIFS
      ·        MATCH
      ·        SUMIF
      ·        SUMIFS
      ·        VLOOKUP

There are 3 different Wildcard Characters in Excel.  Though that may seem to be a paltry few, you may be Amazed at what you can do with them.

The summary below offers an explanation and examples of how these characters can be used in the functions noted above.

Wildcard Character
Question Mark (?)
Find any single character (letter, number, etc), such as “B?nk” finds Bank, Bonk, or Bunk
Asterisk (*)
Find any number of characters (once again, letters, numbers, etc), such as “Post*” finds Postage, Postpone, Postcard, Postulate, etc
Tilde (~) with another Character
Insert a literal question mark (?), asterisk (*), or tilde (~) such as “Jameson~?” finds Jameson?, “Jameson~*” finds Jameson*, etc

As you further your mastery of Excel formulas, keep in mind the power of Wildcards.  They can give you a great deal of help as you explore the Wild*!

No comments: