Quick, clean, and to the point


Example of wildcard in COUNTIF function

A wildcard is a special character that let's you "fuzzy" matching in your Excel formulas. For example, this formula:


counts alls cells in the range B5:B11 that end with the text "combo". And this formula:


Counts all cells in A1:A100 that contain exactly 3 characters.

Available wildcards

Excel has 3 wildcards you can use in your formulas:

  • Asterisk (*) - matches one or more characters of any kind
  • Question mark (?) - matches any one character
  • Tilde (~) - escapes a wildcard to match a literal asterisk (~*) a literal question mark (~?), or a literal tilde (~~).

Compatible functions

Not all functions allow wildcards. Here is a list of the most common functions that do:

I LOVE your site. It helps me frequently as I have no formal training but I'm very logic oriented and this site is put together so very well and has assisted me so very much! You've improved the quality of my life. -Mike
Excel foundational video course
Excel Pivot Table video training course
Excel formulas and functions video training course
Excel Shortcuts Video Course
Excel Charts video training course