How to Find or Replace Question Mark (?), Asterisk (*) or Tilde (~) in Microsoft Office Excel

In Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet program, question mark (?) and asterisk (*) have been used as wildcards, which allow user to search for (via Find or Replace) a matching pattern or sequence. Thus, when trying to search or find question mark and/or asterisk only, Excel will find and go into each and every cell that has any value, or return all cells when finding all is pressed.

In order to search for a question mark (?) or asterisk (*) inside the value, formula or comments on the cells of worksheets or workbook, precede the ? or * with a tilde (~). For example,


Microsoft Excel uses the tilde (~) as a marker to indicate that the next character is a literal. By appending a “~” to the front of “?” or “*”, Find and Replace function will treat ? and * as character, instead of wildcard, allowing the special characters to be found specifically inside the cell.

As title (~) is also a special character which serves as literal indicator, thus in order to find or replace title (~) in the sheet, use double title instead, as shown in example below: