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# Wildcard not working in Excel match statement

Posted on 2010-08-28
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I have a match statement in Excel and the wildcard does not work.  Is a wildcard (*) not allowed in a match statement?
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Question by:morinia
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LVL 58

Expert Comment

ID: 33551198
No it doesn't.  Are you trying to match any cell that is non-blank, hence the *?
If you can describe what you actually want to do in more detail, we will work out a formula for you.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

ID: 33551214
When using the exact match option with the MATCH function (passing 0 for the third parameter), wildcard characters are allowed. Otherwise wildcard characters are not allowed.

Kevin
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Author Comment

ID: 33551225
Originally I was trying to use this statement to match if the column had "NJ*" in the first two positions followed by any other combination of letters.  It if didn't I would default to "NY".  Since there were only five choices I just put the entire literal in.   I also noticed the "If False" did not work like I wanted it to, so I used iferror to default to New York.

=IFERROR(IF(MATCH(VLOOKUP(INDIRECT(\$C\$1),INFOTAB,2,FALSE),{"NJ*"},0),"NEW JERSEY","NEW YORK"),"NEW YORK")
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

ID: 33551249
You have the MATCH backwards. You are trying to match a value to an array containing wildcard characters. You can't do that. You can only use wildcard characters in the value for which you are searching or the first parameter. This should work:

=IF(LEFT(VLOOKUP(INDIRECT(\$C\$1),INFOTAB,2,FALSE),2)="NJ","NEW JERSEY","NEW YORK")

Kevin
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Author Comment

ID: 33551264
Kevin,

Where is the wildcard?
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LVL 81

Accepted Solution

zorvek (Kevin Jones) earned 1000 total points
ID: 33551268
You don't need it. You are only testing the first two characters of the lookup value. It's simpler than you thought ;-)

Kevin
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 33551275
Thanks!!
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