To determine if a range or column contains specific text (a specific substring or partial text), you can use a formula based on the COUNTIF function and wildcards. In the example shown, the formula in E5 is:


Generic formula



The COUNTIF function counts cells that meet supplied criteria, and returns a count of occurrences found. If no cells meet criteria, COUNTIF returns zero.

The asterisk (*) is a wildcard for one or more characters. By concatenating asterisks before and after the value in D5, the formula will count the value as a substring. In other words, it will count the value if it appears anywhere inside any cell in the range.

Any positive result means the value was found. By comparing the result with the greater than operator (>) and zero, we force a final result of TRUE or FALSE.

With IF

You can nest this formula inside the IF function as the logical test. For example, to return a final result of "Yes" or "No", you can use IF like this:

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.