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I would like to replace the explicit "Brandon" with a reference to the adjacent cell but I need an operator that I can wrap around J40 (the cell to be referenced) that passes the string contained in that cell such that the "* *" can still act on it within the context of the countif function.

Put simply I need the ???? in "*????(J40)*"

two cells in a google sheets document

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    Brandon, keep in mind that we don't start out knowing your end goal. We can't see your data or layout. I'm sure the one snippet here alongside your explanation makes perfect sense to you; but for those of us "out here" (or at least me), it makes no sense out of context and without understanding the goal clearly. The best way to receive help is to share a link to a sample spreadsheet that illustrates the problem with realistic data as well as the result you're looking for, manually entered. Just be sure to set the link's Share permission to "Anyone with the link..." and "Editor." – Erik Tyler May 1 at 3:26
  • Is this an XY problem? – doubleunary May 1 at 6:11
  • Appreciate the feedback @ErikTyler , I got the answer I was looking for although I'll be mindful to be more thorough in my explanations in the future. In this case it was work related with sensitive customer info so I couldn't have shared access to the doc but I could have provided a more robust screenshot. Take care – Brandon James May 3 at 16:46
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    For future reference, you can always create a minimal sample spreadsheet that contains 5 to 10 rows of realistic data and which illustrates the issue, along with manually entering the results you would be looking for. This only takes a few minutes to do. – Erik Tyler May 3 at 17:12
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Try this =COUNTIF(G3:G150,"*"&J40&"*")

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  • Thank You Raymond, that did it!! – Brandon James May 3 at 16:43

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