# MS Excel - count partial matches between two columns

I am attempting to write a formula that will count partial matches between two different ranges.

Column 1 Range:  A1:A4
A1 - A123456789
A2 -  A6789
A3 - 12345
A4 - 11111

Column 2 Range:  B1:B4
B1 - 12345
B2 - 6789
B3 - 11111
B4 - B12345

Basically, I am trying to develop formulas that i can display a count indicating:

The number of times the first 4 characters match
The number of times the last 4 characters match
The number of times the middle 4 characters match

*Note:  There are not duplicates within each range.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for reviewing my question.
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Finance AnalystCommented:
Can you clarify what would be a match?

the first four characters from A match the first 4 characters from B
the first four characters from B match the first 4 characters from A
the first four characters from A are found within B
the first four characters from B are found within A

Thanks
Rob H
Author Commented:
Hi Rob,

Thanks for getting back to quickly

The first four characters from A are found within B
The last four characters from A are found within B
Finance AnalystCommented:
Sorry, should have also asked, in the same row or anywhere within the range?
Author Commented:
Anywhere within the range.
Older than dirtCommented:
Insert a module if you don't already have one and add this User Defined Function.

Usage:
=F4L4(A1,B\$1:B\$4)

That formula could be placed in C1 and copied down to C4

``````Function F4L4(A As Range, B As Range) As Integer
' Counts the occurrences whwre the first four characters from A are found within B
' and/or the last four characters from A are found within B
Dim lngRow As Long

For lngRow = 1 To B.Rows.Count
If InStr(1, Cells(lngRow, B.Column), Left\$(A, 4)) > 0 Then
F4L4 = F4L4 + 1
End If
If InStr(1, Cells(lngRow, B.Column), Right\$(A, 4)) > 0 Then
F4L4 = F4L4 + 1
End If
Next
End Function
``````

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Author Commented:
Wow, thank you very much.

I have a lunch appointment now but will test it out as soon as return to the office .  Thanks again.
Author Commented:
I can't thank you enough - this worked out great.

I modified the range to suit the appropriate number of rows and even increased the number of characters from 4 to 6 as I quickly realized I underestimated the similarities between the two columns.

Your efforts are very much appreciated.

Thank you and regards.
Older than dirtCommented:
You're welcome and I'm glad I was able to help.

In my profile you'll find links to some articles I've written that may interest you.
Marty - MVP 2009 to 2015
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