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How to Use REGEXMATCH Function in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

January 19, 2024 1.1K views

Navigating Google Sheets becomes a breeze with the REGEXMATCH function. In this guide, we delve into the intricacies, offering insights from a user's perspective. Join us as we simplify the complex, sharing tips and comparisons to empower your data handling.

What Is REGEXMATCH Function

In the realm of data analysis and text manipulation, regular expressions have emerged as powerful tools for pattern matching and extracting meaningful information. Google Sheets, a widely used spreadsheet application, offers a built-in function, REGEXMATCH, that harnesses the power of regular expressions for text validation and pattern recognition.

What is REGEXMATCH?

The REGEXMATCH function in Google Sheets serves to determine whether a specified text string matches a given regular expression pattern. It returns a Boolean value, TRUE if there's a match and FALSE if there's no match. This function proves particularly useful for tasks like data validation, error checking, and text manipulation.

Syntax:

REGEXMATCH(text, regular_expression)

Where:

  • text represents the text string to be evaluated against the regular expression.

  • regular_expression refers to the pattern to be matched against the text.

Example 1: Validating Email Addresses

Consider the scenario of validating email addresses in a spreadsheet. The REGEXMATCH function can be employed to ensure that each email address adheres to the standard format.

REGEXMATCH(A2, "^\w+([\.-]?\w+)*@\w+\.\w{2,}$")

In this example, cell A2 contains the email address to be validated, and the regular expression pattern ensures the correct structure of an email address.

Example 2: Extracting Phone Numbers

Another practical application of REGEXMATCH lies in extracting phone numbers from text. The following formula demonstrates this capability:

REGEXMATCH(A2, "^(\d{3})-(\d{3})-(\d{4})$")

Here, cell A2 holds the text containing the phone number, and the regular expression pattern captures the standard format of a phone number.

The REGEXMATCH function empowers users to effectively validate, extract, and manipulate text data in Google Sheets, enhancing their data analysis and processing capabilities. Its versatility makes it an invaluable tool for data-driven tasks.

How to Use the REGEXMATCH Function in Google Sheets

Now that we've covered the basics of the REGEXMATCH function in Google Sheets, let's delve into some practical applications. This versatile function allows you to locate cells in a range based on various criteria, enhancing your ability to manipulate and analyze data. In this section, we'll explore three specific use cases for the REGEXMATCH function.

To locate cells in a range with particular numbers:

Step 1: Open your Google Sheets document.

Step 2: Select the cell where you want the filtered results to appear.

Step 3: Enter the following formula:

=FILTER(A2:A10, REGEXMATCH(A2:A10, "\d{3}"))

This formula filters cells in the range A2:A10 to find those containing a three-digit number. Customize the regex pattern ("\d{3}") based on your specific numeric criteria.

Step 4: Press Enter to apply the formula.

You should now see the filtered results in the selected cell, showing only those cells in the specified range that match the numeric pattern you defined.

To identify cells in a range with particular letter or words:

Step 1: Select the cell where you want the filtered results.

Step 2: Enter the following formula:

=FILTER(B2:B10, REGEXMATCH(B2:B10, "software"))

This formula filters cells in the range B2:B10 to find those containing the word "software." Adjust the search criteria in the regex pattern ("software") to match the letters or words you are looking for.

Step 3: Press Enter to apply the formula.

The selected cell will now display only those cells in the specified range that contain the specified letters or words.

To find cells in a range with specific text string:

Step 1: Select the cell where you want the filtered results.

Step 2: Enter the following formula:

=FILTER(C2:C10, REGEXMATCH(C2:C10, "^[A-Za-z0-9_]+@[A-Za-z0-9_]+\.[A-Za-z]{2,}$"))

This formula filters cells in the range C2:C10 to find those containing an email address. Adjust the regex pattern to match the structure of the specific text string you are searching for.

Step 3: Press Enter to apply the formula.

The selected cell will now show only those cells in the specified range that match the specified text string pattern.

By following these step-by-step instructions, you can effectively use the REGEXMATCH function in Google Sheets for various scenarios, enhancing your data analysis capabilities.

How to Use the REGEXMATCH Function with Multiple Values

When working with Google Sheets, there are scenarios where you might need to use the REGEXMATCH function with multiple values. This can be particularly useful when you want to filter a range based on a set of criteria. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Open your Google Sheets document.

Step 2: Select the cell where you want the filtered results to appear.

Step 3: Assume you have a dataset in column D (D2:D10) and you want to filter cells that contain either "apple" or "orange."

Step 4: Enter the following formula:

=FILTER(D2:D10, REGEXMATCH(D2:D10, "apple|orange"))

In this formula, the pipe symbol (|) functions as an OR operator. It filters cells in the range D2:D10 to find those containing either "apple" or "orange." Adjust the regex pattern based on the multiple values you are looking for.

Step 5: Press Enter to apply the formula.

You should now see the filtered results in the selected cell, displaying only those cells in the specified range that match any of the specified values.

This approach allows you to use the REGEXMATCH function with multiple values, providing flexibility in filtering your data based on a combination of criteria.

Remember, you can customize the formula based on your specific dataset and criteria. Experiment with different patterns and values to meet your unique requirements.

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FAQs

What is the difference between MATCH and REGEXMATCH function in Google Sheets?

  • MATCH is for exact value matching in a range.

  • REGEXMATCH is for flexible pattern matching using regular expressions.

What is the REGEX function in Google Sheets?

There isn't a standalone REGEX function; instead, Google Sheets uses REGEXMATCH, REGEXEXTRACT, and REGEXREPLACE functions.

How can I use REGEXMATCH to extract specific text in Google Sheets?

Example: =FILTER(A:A, REGEXMATCH(A:A, "apple"))

Adjust the formula for your dataset and specific text extraction criteria.

Summary

This guide walks you through using the REGEXMATCH function in Google Sheets, explaining it step by step for both single and multiple values. It includes practical tips and insights. Additionally, it introduces WPS Spreadsheet as a powerful free alternative to Google Sheets, highlighting key features like free download, compatibility, and WPS AI integration for enhanced document management. Overall, it helps you master Google Sheets and discover a valuable alternative in WPS Office.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.