Thursday, June 23, 2016


As we all know, there is an abundance of Super Cool tricks in Excel. Even the grandest of Excel masters can occasionally stumble upon a tool that can astonish the guru a bit.  It is, of course, arguable that the use of Functions is the coolest “trick” of all in Excel.  To make functions even more powerful, however, you can use Wildcards.
The ability to use Wildcards is a highly valuable feature in Excel.  Several functions can use these keenly useful tools to better filter the results you are attempting to get. The following is a list of some of the more common Excel functions that can make use of Wildcards:
  •  SUMIF
There are three different Wildcard Characters in Excel.  Though that may seem to be a trifling 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 Wonderful Wild World of Excel!

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