Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 7, 2019)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365

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 Microsoft 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. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Converting Quark Documents to Word

A popular desktop publishing program is QuarkXPress. If you have a document in the program, you may want a way to get ...

Discover More

Specifying an Index Page-Range Separator

When generating an index, Word normally uses a dash to indicate page ranges. You can change the character used for these ...

Discover More

Engineering Calculations

Need to normalize your data in some way so that all your values are in a given format? This tip presents a number of ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

##### More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Checking for Duplicate Rows Based on a Range of Columns

When working with data in Excel, you might want to figure out which rows of data represent duplicates of other rows. If ...

Discover More

Postal codes in Canada consist of six characters, separated into two groups. This tip explains the format and then shows ...

Discover More

Summing Only the Largest Portion of a Range

Given a range of cells, you may at some time want to calculate the sum of only the largest values in that range. Here is ...

Discover More
##### Subscribe

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

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. Youâ€™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 nine less than 9?

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

##### This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.