Knowing how to use **Wildcard characters** is a great tool to possess while working in Google Sheets. **Wildcards** can help you maximize your search results. Being able to use **Wildcards** with different functions in Google Sheets is an extremely useful skill to have. In this article, we will discuss how to use **Wildcard** with **IF** condition in Google Sheets.

## A Sample of Practice Spreadsheet

Download this practice spreadsheet to practice yourself.

## What Is Wildcard in Google Sheets?

**Wildcards** are special symbols that represent a character or multiple characters in Google Sheets. They can be used to mean something when used with other functions. There are three **Wildcard** symbols available in Google Sheets. They are:

**Asterisk(*****)**: Asterisk(*****) represents any character or any number of characters.**Question Mark (?)**: Question Mark (**?**) represents any single character. For example, the string ‘?ain’ could mean Rain, Pain, Gain, Main, etc.**Tilde(****~)**: Tilde(**~**) means that the preceding character should not be considered a Wildcard. This is used with other Wildcard symbols(**?**and*****). Use this symbol(**~**) to tell Google Sheets to consider them(**?**and*****) as normal characters and not as Wildcards.

## 3 Ways to Use Wildcard with IF Condition in Google Sheets

### 1. Apply Wildcard with IF Function to Get Partial Text Match

**Wildcards** can be used with the **IF function** and **REGEXMATC****H**** function** for partially matching any string at the beginning, middle, or end of a text in a cell of **Google Sheets**.

#### 1.1 Beginning of Text

We have a table with some words in it. We want to show the words that have the letters ** Ev** at the beginning of the words using

**Wildcards**. Words that do not have

**at the beginning will return an empty cell.**

*Ev***Steps:**

- First, go to the cell where you want to show the words containing the letters Ev at the beginning. For our example, we go to cell
**C5**.

- Then, insert the
**IF**function.

- After that, insert the
**REGEXMATCH function**.

- Then, insert the cell number whose data you want the
**REGEXMATCH function**to match. We type**B5**for our example as this is the cell we want to match.

- Now, type in
**“^Ev*”**which is the*Regular Expression*value for the**REGEXMATCH**It means to include all the characters after*Ev*.**^**denotes the beginning of a string. If the word does not start with*Ev*then it will return a blank cell.

- Next, close parentheses for the
**REGEXMATCH**function and*type the value or text*you want the**IF**function to show if the**REGEXMATCH**function finds a match followed by a**COMMA**. We want to show the text in cell**B5**so we type**B5**after the**COMMA**.

- After that, type the value or text you want the
**IF**function to show if the**REGEXMATCH**function does not find a match. We type**“”**because we want the**IF**function to show a blank cell if the**REGEXMATCH**does not find a match.

- Close parentheses and this is what the final formula looks like:

`=IF(REGEXMATCH(B5,"^Ev*"),B5,"")`

- Finally, press
**ENTER**and drag the plus icon to have the formula copy to the below cells to have a complete table:

**Read More: How to Use Wildcard in Google Sheets (3 Practical Examples)**

#### 1.2 Middle of Text

We want to use **Wildcards** to show the words that have the letters ** eve** in the middle of the words. Words that do not have

**in the middle will return an empty cell.**

*eve***Steps:**

- First, go to the cell where you want to show the data. We go to cell
**C5**for our example.

- Then, type the following formula:

`=IF(REGEXMATCH(B5,"^*eve*"),B5,"")`

** **

__Formula Explanation:__

**B5**is the cell we want to match.**“^*eve*”**means to look for the letters eve from the start of the string till the end.**B5**is the data we want to show if**REGEXMATCH**matches with the data.**“”**means if the**REGEXMATCH**does not find a match then the**IF**function will return a blank cell.

- Finally, press
**ENTER**and drag the plus icon to have the formula copy to the below cells to have a complete table:

#### 1.3 End of Text

We want to show the words that have the letters ** nt** at the end of the words using

**Wildcards**. Words that do not have

**at the end will return an empty cell.**

*nt***Steps:**

- First, go to the cell where you want to show the data. For our example, we go to cell
**C5**.

- Now, type the following formula:

`=IF(REGEXMATCH(B5,"^*nt"),B5,"")`

__Formula Explanation:__

**B5**is the data that we want the**REGEXMATCH**function to match.**“^*nt”**means to look for all the lettersfrom the start of the string till the end.*nt***B5**is the text that we want the**IF**function to show if the**REGEXMATCH**function can match the data.**“”**means if the**REGEXMATCH**does not find a match then the**IF**function will return a blank cell.

- Finally, press
**ENTER**and drag the plus icon to have the formula copy to the below cells to have a complete table:

### 2. Using Wildcards with SUMIF Function

**Wildcards** can be used extensively with other functions such as **SUMIF** to have added value in calculations. Consider the dataset below. We have a list with **Product names** and their respective **Price** in a table.

We will use **Wildcards** to calculate different types of values from the table.

#### 2.1 Using Asterisk (*****) Wildcard

**Asterisk(*****)** symbol can be used to represent *any number of characters* in the criterion part of the **SUMIF function.**

**Steps:**

- First, go to the cell where you want the calculation to take place. We go to cell
**C15**for our example.

- Then, type the following formula.

`=SUMIF(B5:B13,"Book*",C5:C13)`

__Formula Explanation:__

**B5:B13**is the range of criteria that will be tested against the criteria which is “Book*” in our example.**“Book*”**is the criterion based on which the calculation will take place. The*****is used to represent all the books starting with Books and ending with any characters. It takes into account Book 101, Book 102, etc.**C5:C13**is the range that is to be summed based on the criterion specified.

- Finally, press
**ENTER**to show the calculated sum.

- To calculate the price of Books
*starting with 2,*type the following formula.

`=SUMIF(B5:B13,"*2*",C5:C13)`

**Asterisk(*****)**sign before and after 2 means the**SUMIF**function will take into account all the characters before and after 2.

- To calculate the price of Books
*ending in 3*use the following formula.

`=SUMIF(B5:B13,"*3",C5:C13)`

**Asterisk(*****)**before 3 means the**SUMIF function**takes into account all the characters before 3.

#### 2.2 Utilizing Question Mark (?) Wildcard

**Question Mark(?)** can be used to indicate *any single character* in the criterion part of the **SUMIF** function.

- Type the following formula to calculate the sum of the price of all the books starting with 20 and ending in any one character i.e. 1, 2, 3.

`=SUMIF(B5:B13,"Book 20?",C5:C13)`

**?**represents any character that is after 20.

- We can even calculate the sum of the price of Books ending in 03 by using the following formula.

`=SUMIF(B5:B13,"Book ?03",C5:C13)`

- Press
**ENTER**to show the result.

#### 2.3 Applying Tilde (~) Wildcard

If we have any of the above two symbols in our dataset then we can use **Tilde(~)** to consider them as normal characters rather than wildcards.

- Let’s say we have the following dataset with
.**Question Mark(?)**in place of 0

- We can calculate the sum of the price of the books with the following formula.

`=SUMIF(B5:B13,"Book ?~?1",C5:C13)`

- Here, the first
**?**represents character 1 or 3 in this case.**Tilde(~)**denotes that the character adjacent to it is a normal character. Meaning, the second**?**has to be considered a normal character by the**SUMIF**function.

### 3. Utilizing Wildcards with COUNTIF Function

**Wildcards** can be used with the **COUNTIF**** function** to partially match the data and count their occurances. This method is very useful when you want to partially match data and show the count.

Suppose we have a dataset with a list of words and we want to know all the words that contain the letters ** eve** in them. To find this out, we have to use

**Wildcards**with the

**COUNTIF**function.

**Steps:**

- First, go to the cell where you want to show the count. We go to cell
**C5**in our example.

- Then, type the following formula:

`=COUNTIF(B5:B12,"*eve*")`

**Formula Explanation:**

**B5:B12**is the range where we want to test against the criterion, which is the lettersin this case.*eve***“*eve*”**is the criterion based on which the formula will find the words in the range and count them. The**Asterisk(*****)**before and aftermeans that the formula should consider all the characters before and after*eve*to find a match.*eve*

- Finally, press
**ENTER**to have your count.

## Conclusion

In this article, we showed you how to use **Wildcards** in Google Sheets in 3 different methods. Keep practicing the methods along with the examples that we have shown here for a better understanding of the concept. We hope this article was useful to you.

Also, check out other articles on **OfficeWheel** to keep on improving your Google Sheets work knowledge.