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# Excel Formula to Find Part of String

Posted on 2010-11-11
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Hello,

I have a rather large list of files that I've put into Excel, and I'm trying to narrow it down to only ones that I require.  Can anybody help me write a formula that will look for specific parts of text within the cell, for example any file that contains .COMP, .XML, etc.

All help is appreciated.
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Question by:angus_young_acdc
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LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 34110342
Any further info about potential structures of the candidate strings ... i.e.

=RIGHT(A1, LEN(A1) - FIND(".",A1))

Will return all text to the right of the first dot

Chris
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Expert Comment

ID: 34110351
Sorry didn't finish that

Will return all text to the right of the first dot ... but you may require last dot, text up to subsequent space or a number of other possibilities so representative data samples and required responses will help.

Chris

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Expert Comment

ID: 34110353
=find(".COMP",A1,1) where A1 is the cell with the info in.

or

=find(".XML",A1,1)
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Author Comment

ID: 34110375
Hey chris_bottomley and Wadski, unfortunately the strings will be of differing lengths so I won't be able to do a RIGHT or LEFT.  I shall try using find and get back to you both.
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 34110379
If you just want specific file extensions then try listing all of those in a cell range, e.g. D2:D10 [with the preceding dot, i.e. ".COMP" etc, then assuming you have file names in column A use this formula in B2 copied down to identify (as TRUE) the files you want
=ISNUMBER(LOOKUP(2^15,SEARCH(D\$2:D\$10,A2)))
regards, barry
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Author Comment

ID: 34110409
A quick update, I've tried using a Find but that appears to bring back the starting point of the string.

As requested I shall explain more, I have a list of over 400K files with various different extentions, mixed in with this are file names that I just don't need (their ext will be .XML, .COMP, .FIN)  So I'm hoping to have a formula that will look for these values, and allow me to easily remove them from the list.
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Expert Comment

ID: 34110424
See attached example of my suggestion. You can now filter by column B to see the data you want/ don't want
regards, barry

26607563.xls
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Accepted Solution

barry houdini earned 2000 total points
ID: 34110454
...sorry, I didn't include the dots in the list as I said you should - it worked OK in my example without but, of course, if you don't include the dot you might get a "false match" with text elsewhere in the filename.
see revised version
barry

26607563v2.xls
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 34110530
If you do a nested FIND statement with all three filetypes in it then sort by the column with the find statement you can then delete the rows with a number in them - leaving only the rows without these extensions.

you may also need to use the UPPER() statement if you are going to use the find statement to avoid lowercase filetypes being missed.

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Author Closing Comment

ID: 34113717
Thats fantastic thank you very much.  I had a bit of trouble getting this working though, I had to re-write the formula a few times (all exactly the same) before it would work.... I just put that down to bad luck.

Thanks again!
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