How to Use Wildcard Characters in Google Sheets Query


You can use the % sign as a wildcard character in Google Sheets queries:

Method 1: Return Cells That Start with Certain Characters

=QUERY(A1:A10, "Select A where A like 'hello%'")

Method 2: Return Cells That End with Certain Characters

=QUERY(A1:A10, "Select A where A like '%hello'")

Method 3: Return Cells That Contain Certain Characters

=QUERY(A1:A10, "Select A where A like '%hello%'")

The following examples show how to use each method in practice.

Method 1: Return Cells That Start with Certain Characters

We can use the following formula to return every cell in column A that starts with ‘We’:

=QUERY(A1:A10, "Select A where A like 'We%'")

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula:

Method 2: Return Cells That End with Certain Characters

We can use the following formula to return every cell in column A that ends with ‘th’:

=QUERY(A1:A10, "Select A where A like '%th'")

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula:

Method 3: Return Cells That Contain Certain Characters

We can use the following formula to return every cell in column A that contains ‘ou’ somewhere within the string:

=QUERY(A1:A10, "Select A where A like '%ou%'")

The following screenshot shows how to use this formula:

Additional Resources

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common queries in Google Sheets:

Google Sheets Query: Select Rows that Contain String
Google Sheets Query: How to Use Multiple Criteria in Query
Google Sheets Query: How to Use Cell Reference in Formula
Google Sheets Query: How to Select Multiple Columns

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