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 March 26, 2016)

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.

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

Inserting the Edit Time

One of the things that Word keeps track of is how long, in minutes, you've been editing your current document. This ...

Discover More

ScreenTips without Hyperlinks

ScreenTips can be a helpful feature in some documents, but adding them also means you need to add a hyperlink. Here's a way ...

Discover More

Sequential Page Numbers Across Worksheets

How do you want your page numbers to appear on your printed worksheets? Chances are good that you want them to be sequential, ...

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)

Entering Formulas in Excel

The way you signify that you are entering a formula is to start a cell entry with an equal sign. Here is the reason why Excel ...

Discover More

Finding the Address of the Lowest Value in a Range

Uncovering the lowest value in a range is relatively easy; you can just use the MIN worksheet function. Discovering the ...

Discover More

Counting Asterisks

For some operations and functions, Excel allows you to use wild card characters. One such character is an asterisk. What if ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 6 - 4?

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.