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# Fill continents

Posted on 2014-11-13
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I need to find a quick way to fill column A here in this online Google spreadsheet https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hpp_HYEOVPzBnfCRZwQfpsYuAxkK8e31OVeFzAz4tsg/edit#gid=323269223 with continents for 228 countries shown in the adjacent column B.  Assistance is greatly appreciated.
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Question by:frugalmule
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Assisted Solution

Rgonzo1971 earned 250 total points
Hi,

pls refer to

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_continent_%28data_file%29

it contains the iso code for continent EU = europe, OC = Oceania, AF = Africa etc.

and countries

Regards
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LVL 80

Accepted Solution

byundt earned 250 total points
This problem would be far easier to solve manually than with an automated tool. Having collected postage stamps in my youth, I knew every single one off the top of my head.

Because you asked for an automated solution, I downloaded data from http://www.clearias.com/countries-world-listed-continent/ to look-up the continents given the country name. I needed to use some text manipulation formulas to turn the single-column list (continent name followed by country names) into a two-column list.

After doing so, I found discrepancies between the way you listed country names and the way they were shown in the data from the web. To resolve this issue, I installed Microsoft's "Fuzzy Lookup" add-in from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15011

To use the Fuzzy Lookup add-in, I put your data in a table named tbCountries and the data from the web in a table named tbLookup. I then matched the Countries column in tbCountries with the CountryData column in tbLookup. I also checked tbLookup.ContinentData as the only output column. Using this setup, I then positioned the cursor in cell A11 of tbCountries and clicked the Go button on the add-in. The add-in then populated most of the cells in your table.

After running the Fuzzy Lookup add-in, a number of cells were left blank. Most of these were in the Caribbean or Pacific Ocean. I populated these cells manually, and colored them in yellow in the attached workbook.
CountriesBY.xlsx
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Expert Comment

FWIW, you had the capital cities offset by one row in a number of places (such as Cuba) in your workbook. Drawing on my youthful experience as a stamp collector, I fixed the ones that I caught in the workbook I posted. I did not check if the remainder of the columns were also incorrectly offset--but now notice that the UTC column is also incorrect.
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