Quick, clean, and to the point

Cell contains one of many with exclusions

Excel formula: Cell contains one of many with exclusions
Generic formula 

To test a cell for one of many strings, while excluding others, you can use a formula based on the SEARCH, ISNUMBER, and SUMPRODUCT functions. In the example shown the formula in C5 is:


where "include" is the named range E5:E9, and "exclude" is the named range G5:G6.


At the core, this formula uses the SEARCH function to look for multiple strings inside a cell. Inside the left SUMPRODUCT, SEARCH looks for all strings in the named range "include".

In the right SUMPRODUCT, SEARCH looks for all strings in the named range "exclude".

In both parts of the formula, SEARCH returns numeric positions when strings are found, and errors when not. The ISNUMBER function converts the numbers to TRUE and errors to FALSE, and the double negative converts the TRUE FALSE values to 1 and 0.

The result at this point looks like this:




Note: this formula returns either 1 or zero, which are handled like TRUE and FALSE in formulas, conditional formatting, or data validation.

Dave Bruns

Excel Formula Training

Formulas are the key to getting things done in Excel. In this accelerated training, you'll learn how to use formulas to manipulate text, work with dates and times, lookup values with VLOOKUP and INDEX & MATCH, count and sum with criteria, dynamically rank values, and create dynamic ranges. You'll also learn how to troubleshoot, trace errors, and fix problems. Instant access. See details here.

Download 100+ Important Excel Functions

Get over 100 Excel Functions you should know in one handy PDF.