Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Adding a Missing Closing Bracket.

Adding a Missing Closing Bracket

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 7, 2019)

3

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 (126) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel 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. ...

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What is five more than 5?

2019-09-09 14:21:23

Dave Bonin

Here's another variation:

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

If there is no opening bracket, then return the original value.
If there is an opening bracket, then add a closing bracket and then change any occurrence of two closing brackets to one bracket.


2019-09-07 19:09:11

Daryl D.

Terry can use this sub if some of the names do not have a left bracket in it.

Sub close_bracket()
Dim c As Range
For Each c In Selection.Cells
If Left(c, 1) = "[" And Right(c, 1) <> "]" Then c = Left(c, Len(c)) & "]"
Next c
End Sub


2019-09-07 18:58:23

Daryl D.

Hello Allen, I really appreciate ExcelTips and have learned so much from you!
Here is a shorter macro that will work for Terry.

Sub Close_Bracket()
Dim c As Range
For Each c In Selection.Cells
If Right(c, 1) <> "]" Then c = Left(c, Len(c)) & "]"
Next c
End Sub


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