Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Adding a Missing Closing Bracket.

Adding a Missing Closing Bracket

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 20, 2018)

1

Terry has a huge list of names in an Excel worksheet. Some are just the names, but some have words in brackets after them. Unfortunately some of the words in brackets don't have the closing bracket and Terry has to manually add the closing bracket. He wonders if there is a way that he can add a bracket using a wild card search and replace.

The short answer is that you can't do this using a search and replace, either wild card or regular. You can, however, use a formula to add any missing brackets. The following is just one example of the type of formula you can use:

=IF(AND(NOT(ISERROR(SEARCH("[",A1))),NOT(RIGHT(A1,1)="]")),A1&"]",A1)

The trick is to check to see if the cell (A1 in this case) has a left bracket in it and, if it does, check for the right bracket. If the right bracket isn't found, then you append one to the contents of the cell. Here's another variation on the same formulaic theme:

=IF(ISERROR(FIND("[",A1)),A1,IF(ISERROR(FIND("]",A1)),A1&"]",A1))

If you have to check large numbers of cells for missing brackets on a regular basis, you may want to create a macro that will examine a range of cells and add a right bracket if one is needed. Here's an example of how such a macro could be formulated:

Sub Close_Bracket()
    Dim c As Range
    Const csLBrk As String = "["
    Const csRBrk As String = "]"

    On Error Resume Next
    For Each c In Selection.Cells
        If InStr(1, c.Value, csLBrk) > 0 And _
          InStr(1, c.Value, csRBrk) = 0 Then
            c.Value = c.Value & csRBrk
        End If
    Next c
End Sub

To use the macro, simply select the range of cells you want to affect, and then run it. The cells are examined in-place and modified, if needed.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (123) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Adding a Missing Closing Bracket.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Controlling Document Properties

Word keeps track of quite a bit of document-related information that it refers to as "properties." Here's how to control ...

Discover More

Changing Many Link Locations

Word makes it easy to establish links between documents. If you need to change the locations for a lot of links at once, ...

Discover More

Putting the Last Saved Date in a Cell

Do you need a cell in your worksheet to display the date on which the workbook was last saved? This can be a bit tricky, ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Incrementing References by Multiples when Copying Formulas

You can easily set up a formula to perform some calculation on a range of cells. When you copy that formula, the copied ...

Discover More

Alphabetic Column Designation

Want to know the letters assigned by Excel to a particular column? Excel normally deals with column numbers, but you can ...

Discover More

Finding the Directory Name

Need to know the directory (folder) in which a workbook was saved? You can create a formula that will return this ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six minus 6?

2016-03-26 05:49:18

Rick Rothstein

Here is another formula that can be used...

=IF(LEFT(A1)="[",SUBSTITUTE(A1&"]","]]","]"),A1)

And using this formula as a base, we can write your macro as a one-liner...

Sub Close_Bracket()
Selection = Evaluate(Replace("IF(LEFT(@)=""["",SUBSTITUTE(@&""]"",""]]"",""]""),@)", "@", Selection.Address))
End Sub


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.