# Partial match against numbers with wildcard

To perform a partial match (a substring match) against numbers, you can use an array formula based on MATCH and TEXT.

### Background

Excel supports the wildcard characters "*" and "?". However, if you use wildcards with a number, you'll convert the numeric value to a text value. In other words, "*"&99&"*" = "*99*" (a text string).

If try to find a text value in a range of numbers, the match will fail.

### Solution

One solution is to convert the numbers in the lookup range to text values, and then do a normal lookup with MATCH, VLOOKUP, etc.

If this isn't practical, you can convert the numeric values to text inside a formula using the TEXT function or by concatenating and empty string to the range.

The formula in E6 is:

*This is an array formula and must be entered with Control + Shift + Enter*

This formula uses the TEXT function to tranform the numbers in B5:B10 to text. Once the numbers are converted to text, the MATCH function can find a partial match as usual.

Note that MATCH must be configured for exact match to use wildcards, by setting the 3rd argument to zero or FALSE.

### Another option

Another way to to tranform a number to text is to concatenate an empty string. This formula works the same as the formula above:

=MATCH("*"&E5&"*",B5:B10&"",0)

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