Excel Formula: Check if cell contains some texts but not contains others

To check if a cell contains some texts in range A but does not contain the texts in range B, you can use an array formula which combines the COUNT, SEARCH and AND function in Excel. Here this tutorial explains how to use this array formula.
doc check if contains some but not others 1

Generic formula:

=AND(COUNT(SEARCH(include,text))>0,COUNT(SEARCH(exclude,text))=0)

Arguments

Text: the text string you want to check.
Include: the values you want to check if argument text contains.
Exclude: the values you want to check if argument text does not contain.

Return value:

This formula returns logical value. If the cell contains at least one of argument Include but does not contain any one of argument Exclude, it will return TRUE, or it will return FALSE.

How this formula work

Supposing you want to check if the cell B3 contains one of values in range E3:E5, but at the same time, it does not contain anyone values in range F3:F4, please use below formula

=AND(COUNT(SEARCH($E$3:$E$5,B3))>0,COUNT(SEARCH($F$3:$F$4,B3))=0)

Press Shift + Ctrl + Enter key to check the cell.
doc check if contains some but not others 2

Explanation

Part 1: ( COUNT(SEARCH($E$3:$E$5,B3))>0 check if cell B3 contains one of values in range E3:E5

SEARCH function: the SEARCH function returns the position of the first character of the text string inside another, if the SEARCH function finds the matched text, it returns the relative position, if not, it returns #VALUE! error. Here, the formula SEARCH($E$3:$E$5,B3) will search each value in the range E3:E5 in cell B3, and return the location of each text string in the cell B3. It will return an array result as this: {1;7;#VALUE!}.

COUNT function: the COUNT function counts the number of items in a range or an array. COUNT(SEARCH($E$3:$E$5,B3)) returns 2 as the number of items in the array {1;7;#VALUE!} is two.

COUNT(SEARCH($E$3:$E$5,B3))>0, compare the result of COUNT function and zero, as long as the result of COUNT function is greater than 0, the result will return TRUE, or it will return FALSE. Here it returns TRUE.
doc check if contains some but not others 3

Part 2: COUNT(SEARCH($F$3:$F$4,B3))=0 check if cell B3 does not contain one of values in range F3:F4

SEARCH function: the SEARCH function returns the position of the first character of the text string inside another, if the SEARCH function finds the matched text, it returns the relative position; if not, it returns #VALUE! error. Here, the formula SEARCH($F$3:$F$4,B3) will search each value of the range F3:F4 in cell B3, and returns the location of each text string in the cell B3. It will return an array result as this: {#VALUE!; #VALUE!;#VALUE!}.

COUNT function: the COUNT function counts the number of items in a range or an array. COUNT(SEARCH($F$3:$F$4,B3)) returns 0 as there are no items in the array {#VALUE!; #VALUE!;#VALUE!} .

COUNT(SEARCH($F$3:$F$4,B3))>0, compare the result of COUNT function and zero, as long as the result of COUNT function is equal to 0, it will return TRUE, or it will return FALSE. Here it returns TRUE.
doc check if contains some but not others 4

Part 3: AND function

=AND(COUNT(SEARCH($E$3:$E$5,B3))>0,COUNT(SEARCH($F$3:$F$4,B3))=0)

=AND(TRUE,TRUE)

=TRUE

Sample File

doc sampleClick to download sample file


Relative Formulas

  • Check if a cell contains a specific text
    To check if a cell contains some texts in range A but does not contain the texts in range B, you can use an array formula which combines the COUNT, SEARCH and AND function in Excel
  • Check if a cell contains one of several values but exclude other values
    This tutorial will provide a formula to quickly handle the task that check if a cell contains one of things but excluding other values in Excel and explain the arguments of the formula.
  • Check if cell contains one of things
    Supposing in Excel, there is a list of values in column E, you want to check if the cells in column B contain all of the values in column E, and return TRUE or FALSE.
  • Check if cell contains number
    Sometimes, you may want to check if a cell contains numeric characters. This tutorial provides a formula which will return TRUE if the cell contains number, FALSE if cell does not contain number.

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