Unlike several other frequently used functions, the IF function does not support wildcards. However, you can use the COUNTIF or COUNTIFS functions inside the logical test of IF for basic wildcard functionality.
Here, COUNTIF counts cells that match the pattern "??-????-???", but since the range is just one cell, the answer is always 1 or zero. The question mark wildcard (?) means "one character", so COUNTIF returns the number 1 when the text consists of 11 characters with two hyphens, as described by the pattern. If cell contents do not match this pattern, COUNTIF returns zero.
When the count is 1, the IF function returns an empty string (""). When the count is zero, IF returns the text "invalid". This works because of boolean logic, where the number 1 is evaluated as TRUE and the number zero is evaluated as FALSE.
Alternative with SEARCH function
Another way to use wildcards with the IF function is to combine the SEARCH and ISNUMBER functions to create a logical test. This works because the SEARCH function supports wildcards. However, SEARCH and ISNUMBER together automatically perform a "contains-type" match, so wildcards aren't always needed. This page shows a basic example.
If you want to copy cells that contain certain text, you can use a formula that uses the IF function together with the SEARCH and ISNUMBER functions. Once you find a value you're looking for you can copy it to another location, or display a message...
If you want to do something specific when a cell equals this or that (i.e. is equal to X or Y, etc.) you can use the IF function in combination with the OR function to run a test, then take one action if the r esult is TRUE, and (optionally) do...
The IF function can perform a logical test and return one value for a TRUE result, and another for a FALSE result. For example, to "pass" scores above 70: =IF(A1>70,"Pass","Fail"). More than one condition can be tested by nesting IF functions....
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