How to replace wildcard characters in Excel

Wildcard characters such as ? (question mark) and * (asterisk) are used to represent a single character or any number of characters.

Example:

? (question mark) Finds a single character.
For example, d??m finds “doom” and “dorm”
* (asterisk) Finds a number of characters.
For example, c*d finds connected and caged

 

But, what if you want to replace a wildcard character inside a string?

In this article, I’ll show you how you can do it.

Replacing a wildcard character

  1. Select a cell with a text and a wildcard character.

  1. Press Ctrl + H to open the Find and Replace window.
  2. In Find What text area press Shift + ~
  3. Delete one tilde.
  4. In Replace with type a word.

  1. Press Replace.

This will give us the following result.

If we didn’t use tilde and asterisk (~*), just asterisk (*) the result would be like this.

Excel would treat asterisk as any number of characters (all the text in a cell) and convert it to a word in replace with. In our case, it would be “standard”.