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I have a data set that has names that contain ~ within them. Unfortunately, I cannot find a way to filter or incorporate these cells in a formula.

For example, I tried to use a text cell that had ~ within the name, but I would receive a #N/A error. I know that my VLOOKUP formula works because the only errors I receive are with cells that contain ~ within them.

I even attempted to filter out these results, but excel would replace the filter and treat it like a wildcard filter.

My questions are: - How do I filter ~? - How do I use text cells that contain ~ in VLOOKUPS?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Try using double tildes:


It seems to turn the second tilde to a literal tilde to lookup, but besides that, I don't know why it works.

The data I used it on is:

   A       B        C           D
~Hello     1      ~Hello       =VLOOKUP(SUBSTITUTE(C1,"~","~~"),A:B,2,false)
Hello      2

Cell D1 is returning me 1 (meaning it is matching ~Hello).

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+1 Jerry - The range in VLOOKUP should presumably be A:B..... – barry houdini Jun 3 '13 at 19:26
@barryhoudini oops, right. The data I was testing was actually another one ^^; – Jerry Jun 3 '13 at 19:27
=VLOOKUP("~"&C1,A:B,2,FALSE) seems a shorter version (for the example you gave). – pnuts Jun 3 '13 at 19:36
@pnuts Yes, it is, but it won't work for ~Hello~, right. – Jerry Jun 3 '13 at 19:40
True - and that was the question! – pnuts Jun 3 '13 at 19:40

Clever Answer Jerry. Here is Further Explaination,

Microsoft Excel uses the tilde (~) as a marker to indicate that the next character is a literal. When you use the Find and Replace dialog box to find or replace a character such as a tilde (~), an asterisk (*), or a question mark (?), you must add a tilde (~) before the character in the Find what box.

How to find and replace tildes and wildcard characters in Excel

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