# Alphabetizing On The Fly...

#### hatman

##### Well-known Member

Column AL represents a psuedo-random alpha-numeric list... in this case with about 250 members. The contents are completely dynamic, both in membership and in numbers.

Column AM is the "slick" part, where I build a numerical string representing the first N characters, where N is calculated in cell AQ1. Now AQ1 originally lloked like this

Code:
``=MIN(LEN(OFFSET(BTC1!\$AL\$1,0,0,COUNTA(BTC1!\$AL:\$AL)-COUNTIF(BTC1!\$AL:\$AL,"=0"))))``

And determined the length of the shortest string in column AL. But I found that Excel only handles up to 15 significant figures, and since each character is represented by a 2 digit Ascii code (yeah, I know this don't work so good for ascii codes above 122... but so far I haven't found {}| or ~ in my data) it really doesn;t make sense to keep track of any more than the first 8 characters.

So is there a way to tweak this so that I can deal with 20 or 30 or even 60 characters?

Just for completelness sake: Column AN determines the rank order value of the numbers in column AM. Column AO breaks the ties that appear in column AN, and column AP is the final psuedo-alphabetized list.

### Excel Facts

Which lookup functions find a value equal or greater than the lookup value?
MATCH uses -1 to find larger value (lookup table must be sorted ZA). XLOOKUP uses 1 to find values greater and does not need to be sorted.

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