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Partial Match in an Array

  1. #1
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    Partial Match in an Array

    column A
    MARY
    JOHN
    MARK
    SUE


    cell B1
    zzzJOHNxx


    I am looking for a formula (Vlookup, Match, etc) that will look for an entry in column A that matches part of the string in cell B1 (not the other way around i.e. using wildcard)

    Thanks.
    Last edited by matrex; 12-24-2008 at 01:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Forum Guru shg's Avatar
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    Array formula: =INDEX(A1:A4, MATCH(TRUE, ISNUMBER(FIND(A1:A4, B1)), 0) )

    Change FIND to SEARCH for a case-insensitive match.
    Entia non sunt multiplicanda sine necessitate

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    Thanks Shg!

    Excellent! Works like a charm. Thanks.

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    Forum Moderator daddylonglegs's Avatar
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    You could also use this non-array version

    =LOOKUP(2^15,FIND(A1:A4,B1),A1:A4)

    although, if you had more than one match it would find the last not the first

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    Also works great!

    I can understand that the 2^15 is just any large number but cannot understand how this can be used as a lookup_value, and how the FIND parameter can be used as a lookup_vector.

    Also the FIND(A1:A4,B1) by itself seems to always return a #VALUE error, so can the lookup function make use of it.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Forum Guru shg's Avatar
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    Do these two things and it will become clear:

    1. See Help for the vector form of the LOOKUP function.

    2. Open the Formula Auditing toolbar, and watch DLL's formula evaluate using the Evaluate button.

    I'd use DLL's version.

  7. #7
    Forum Moderator daddylonglegs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matrex View Post
    I can understand that the 2^15 is just any large number......
    It's a little more specific than that. The maximum number of characters in a cell (and therefore the largest number that the FIND function can return) is 32767 (see Excel Help "specfications and limits"). 2^15 is 1 more than that.

  8. #8
    Forum Guru shg's Avatar
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    It's not clear to me why FIND returns an array, sans array formula, DLL. Can you generalize?

  9. #9
    Forum Moderator daddylonglegs's Avatar
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    LOOKUP, like SUMPRODUCT, can handle generated arrays without CSE. So while

    =LOOKUP(2^15,FIND(A1:A4,B1))

    doesn't require CSE, replace LOOKUP with MATCH and you do. Don't know why, though.....

  10. #10
    Forum Guru shg's Avatar
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    Perhaps because both intrinsically expect a vector or array.

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