Tips, Tricks & Tildes
Have you ever been working through your excel sheet and just wanted to do a find and replace of a question mark or even a star? If you are like me, you were probably pretty frustrated when you found out that Excel treats stars and question marks as “wild card” symbols that act as everything. This means that if you try to find all question marks and replace them with a space, that excel will change every character within your selected columns into a space.
Luckily, there is a solution. If you want to find the actual question mark or star symbols, all you need do is use a tilde (~). A tilde is that symbol that is usually located directly to the left of the number one (and above the tab button) on your keyboard. By entering the tilde first, excel locks the unique symbol that follows immediately after (whether it is a question mark or star).
And if you want to still use the star or question mark in your find and replace as a wild card, along with using either of those symbols as non-wild cards, you still can, as long as you use the tilde to lock the symbol you want treated as an actual symbol (rather than wild card)
So, if you wanted to find every character from the question mark onward and replace it with nothing, you would put ~?*. If you wanted to replace everything preceding a question mark (and including the question mark), you put *~?.
Example of Find and Replace
If you have any questions or suggestions regarding this tip, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.