# comparing two columns

#### mits

##### New Member
I have two columns of company names. Each is unique but I know that they have similar entries. In others words :

Column A Column B
Microsoft HP
Apple Sony
ATI Microsoft Ltd.
Ford Ford Motor Company

What I need to do is search for ones that are similar. I need to elminate the entries from column A that actually do exist in column B but are just a little different. Once I have been able to select the similar ones I will maually go through them to decide if they are indeed the same companies.

Thanks

#### al_b_cnu

##### Well-known Member
Hi,

I've developed a UDF 'FuzzyVlookup' which will act like Vlookup, but will return the best match.

If that's what u want, I'll post it.

HTH

Alan

#### al_b_cnu

##### Well-known Member
Hi,

Im posting the FuzzyVlookup code anyway - see the comments in the FuzzyVLookup UDF for how to use, any probs, please post.

Code:
``````Option Explicit
Type RankInfo
Offset As Integer
Percentage As Single
End Type
Function FuzzyPercent(ByVal String1 As String, _
ByVal String2 As String, _
Optional Algoritm As Integer = 3) As Single
'*************************************
'** Return a % match on two strings **
'*************************************
Dim intLen1 As Integer
Dim intCurLen As Integer
Dim intTo As Integer
Dim intPos As Integer
Dim intPtr As Integer
Dim intScore As Integer
Dim intTotScore As Integer
Dim intStartPos As Integer
Dim StrWork As String
Dim Str1 As String
Dim Str2 As String

'---------------------------------------------------
'-- Remove surrounding spaces & ensure lower case --
'---------------------------------------------------
Str1 = LCase\$(Trim\$(String1))
Str2 = LCase\$(Trim\$(String2))

'----------------------------------------------
'-- Give 100% match if strings exactly equal --
'----------------------------------------------
If Str1 = Str2 Then
FuzzyPercent = 1
Exit Function
End If

intLen1 = Len(Str1)

'----------------------------------------
'-- Give 0% match if string length < 2 --
'----------------------------------------
If intLen1 < 2 Then
FuzzyPercent = 0
Exit Function
End If

intTotScore = 0                   'initialise total possible score
intScore = 0                      'initialise current score

'--------------------------------------------------------
'-- If Algoritm = 1 or 3, Search for single characters --
'--------------------------------------------------------
If (Algoritm And 1) <> 0 Then
intTotScore = intLen1                   'initialise total possible score
intPos = 0
For intPtr = 1 To intLen1
intStartPos = intPos + 1
intPos = InStr(intStartPos, Str2, Mid\$(Str1, intPtr, 1))
If intPos > 0 Then
If intPos > intStartPos + 3 Then     'No match if char is > 3 bytes away
intPos = intStartPos
Else
intScore = intScore + 1          'Update current score
End If
Else
intPos = intStartPos
End If
Next intPtr
End If

'-----------------------------------------------------------
'-- If Algoritm = 2 or 3, Search for pairs, triplets etc. --
'-----------------------------------------------------------
If (Algoritm And 2) <> 0 Then
For intCurLen = 2 To intLen1
StrWork = Str2                          'Get a copy of String2
intTo = intLen1 - intCurLen + 1
intTotScore = intTotScore + Int(intLen1 / intCurLen)  'Update total possible score
For intPtr = 1 To intTo Step intCurLen
intPos = InStr(StrWork, Mid\$(Str1, intPtr, intCurLen))
If intPos > 0 Then
Mid\$(StrWork, intPos, intCurLen) = String\$(intCurLen, &H0) 'corrupt found string
intScore = intScore + 1     'Update current score
End If
Next intPtr
Next intCurLen
End If

FuzzyPercent = intScore / intTotScore

End Function
Function FuzzyVLookup(ByVal LookupValue As String, _
ByVal TableArray As Range, _
ByVal IndexNum As Integer, _
Optional NFPercent As Single = 0.05, _
Optional Rank As Integer = 1, _
Optional Algoritm As Integer = 3) As Variant
'********************************************************************************
'** Function to Fuzzy match LookupValue with entries in                        **
'** column 1 of table specified by TableArray.                                 **
'** TableArray must specify the top left cell of the range to be searched      **
'** The function stops scanning the table when an empty cell in column 1       **
'** is found.                                                                  **
'** For each entry in column 1 of the table, FuzzyPercent is called to match   **
'** LookupValue with the Table entry.                                          **
'** 'Rank' is an optional parameter which may take any value > 0               **
'**        (default 1) and causes the function to return the 'nth' best        **
'**         match (where 'n' is defined by 'Rank' parameter)                   **
'** If the 'Rank' match percentage < NFPercent (Default 5%), #N/A is returned. **
'** IndexNum is the column number of the entry in TableArray required to be    **
'** returned, as follows:                                                      **
'** If IndexNum > 0 and the 'Rank' percentage match is >= NFPercent            **
'**                 (Default 5%) the column entry indicated by IndexNum is     **
'**                 returned.                                                  **
'** if IndexNum = 0 and the 'Rank' percentage match is >= NFPercent            **
'**                 (Default 5%) the offset row (starting at 1) is returned.   **
'**                 This value can be used directly in the 'Index' function.   **
'**                                                                            **
'** Algoritm can take one of the following values:                             **
'** Algoritm = 1:                                                              **
'**     For each character in 'String1', a search is performed on 'String2'.   **
'**     The search is deemed successful if a character is found in 'String2'   **
'**     within 3 characters of the current position.                           **
'**     A score is kept of matching characters which is returned as a          **
'**     percentage of the total possible score.                                **
'** Algoritm = 2:                                                              **
'**     A count of matching pairs, triplets, quadruplets etc. in 'String1' and **
'**     'String2' is returned as a percentage of the total possible.           **
'** Algoritm = 3: Both Algoritms 1 and 2 are performed.                        **
'********************************************************************************
Dim strLookupValue As String
Dim strListString As String
Dim StrWork As String

Dim sngMinPercent As Single
Dim sngWork As Single
Dim sngCurPercentc  As Single
Dim intBestMatchPtr As Integer
Dim intPtr As Integer
Dim intRankPtr As Integer
Dim intRankPtr1 As Integer

Dim udRankData() As RankInfo
'--------------------------------------------------------------
'--    Validation                                            --
'--------------------------------------------------------------
strLookupValue = Trim\$(LCase\$(LookupValue))

If IsMissing(NFPercent) Then
sngMinPercent = 0.05
Else
If (NFPercent <= 0) Or (NFPercent > 1) Then
FuzzyVLookup = "*** 'NFPercent' must be a percentage > zero ***"
Exit Function
End If
sngMinPercent = NFPercent
End If

If Rank < 1 Then
FuzzyVLookup = "*** 'Rank' must be an integer > 0 ***"
Exit Function
End If

ReDim udRankData(1 To Rank)

'---------------
'-- Main loop --
'---------------
intPtr = 1
Do While VarType(TableArray.Cells(intPtr, 1)) <> vbEmpty
If VarType(TableArray.Cells(intPtr, 1)) = vbString Then
strListString = Trim\$(LCase\$(TableArray.Cells(intPtr, 1)))

'------------------------------------------------
'-- Fuzzy match strings & get percentage match --
'------------------------------------------------
sngCurPercent = FuzzyPercent(String1:=strLookupValue, _
String2:=strListString, _
Algoritm:=Algoritm)

If sngCurPercent >= sngMinPercent Then
'---------------------------
'-- Store in ranked array --
'---------------------------
For intRankPtr = 1 To Rank
If sngCurPercent > udRankData(intRankPtr).Percentage Then
For intRankPtr1 = Rank To intRankPtr + 1 Step -1
With udRankData(intRankPtr1)
.Offset = udRankData(intRankPtr1 - 1).Offset
.Percentage = udRankData(intRankPtr1 - 1).Percentage
End With
Next intRankPtr1
With udRankData(intRankPtr)
.Offset = intPtr
.Percentage = sngCurPercent
End With
Exit For
End If
Next intRankPtr
End If

End If
intPtr = intPtr + 1
Loop

If udRankData(Rank).Percentage < sngMinPercent Then
'--------------------------------------
'-- Return '#N/A' if below NFPercent --
'--------------------------------------
FuzzyVLookup = CVErr(xlErrNA)
Else
intBestMatchPtr = udRankData(Rank).Offset
If IndexNum > 0 Then
'-----------------------------------
'-- Return column entry specified --
'-----------------------------------
FuzzyVLookup = TableArray.Cells(intBestMatchPtr, IndexNum)
Else
'-----------------------
'-- Return offset row --
'-----------------------
FuzzyVLookup = intBestMatchPtr
End If
End If
End Function
Function FuzzyHLookup(ByVal LookupValue As String, _
ByVal TableArray As Range, _
ByVal IndexNum As Integer, _
Optional NFPercent As Single = 0.05, _
Optional Rank As Integer = 1, _
Optional Algoritm As Integer = 3) As Variant
'********************************************************************************
'** Function to Fuzzy match LookupValue with entries in                        **
'** row 1 of table specified by TableArray.                                    **
'** TableArray must specify the top left cell of the range to be searched      **
'** The function stops scanning the table when an empty cell in row 1          **
'** is found.                                                                  **
'** For each entry in row 1 of the table, FuzzyPercent is called to match      **
'** LookupValue with the Table entry.                                          **
'** 'Rank' is an optional parameter which may take any value > 0               **
'**        (default 1) and causes the function to return the 'nth' best        **
'**         match (where 'n' is defined by 'Rank' parameter)                   **
'** If the 'Rank' match percentage < NFPercent (Default 5%), #N/A is returned. **
'** IndexNum is the row number of the entry in TableArray required to be       **
'** returned, as follows:                                                      **
'** If IndexNum > 0 and the 'Rank' percentage match is >= NFPercent            **
'**                 (Default 5%) the row entry indicated by IndexNum is        **
'**                 returned.                                                  **
'** if IndexNum = 0 and the 'Rank' percentage match is >= NFPercent            **
'**                 (Default 5%) the offset col (starting at 0) is returned.   **
'**                 This value can be used directly in the 'OffSet' function.  **
'**                                                                            **
'** Algoritm can take one of the following values:                             **
'** Algoritm = 1:                                                              **
'**     For each character in 'String1', a search is performed on 'String2'.   **
'**     The search is deemed successful if a character is found in 'String2'   **
'**     within 3 characters of the current position.                           **
'**     A score is kept of matching characters which is returned as a          **
'**     percentage of the total possible score.                                **
'** Algoritm = 2:                                                              **
'**     A count of matching pairs, triplets, quadruplets etc. in 'String1' and **
'**     'String2' is returned as a percentage of the total possible.           **
'** Algoritm = 3: Both Algoritms 1 and 2 are performed.                        **

'********************************************************************************
Dim strLookupValue As String
Dim strListString As String
Dim StrWork As String

Dim sngMinPercent As Single
Dim sngWork As Single
Dim sngCurPercentc  As Single
Dim intBestMatchPtr As Integer
Dim intPtr As Integer
Dim intRankPtr As Integer
Dim intRankPtr1 As Integer

Dim udRankData() As RankInfo
'--------------------------------------------------------------
'--    Validation                                            --
'--------------------------------------------------------------
strLookupValue = Trim\$(LCase\$(LookupValue))

If IsMissing(NFPercent) Then
sngMinPercent = 0.05
Else
If (NFPercent <= 0) Or (NFPercent > 1) Then
FuzzyHLookup = "*** 'NFPercent' must be a percentage > zero ***"
Exit Function
End If
sngMinPercent = NFPercent
End If

If Rank < 1 Then
FuzzyHLookup = "*** 'Rank' must be an integer > 0 ***"
Exit Function
End If

ReDim udRankData(1 To Rank)

'---------------
'-- Main loop --
'---------------
intPtr = 1
Do While VarType(TableArray.Cells(1, intPtr)) <> vbEmpty
If VarType(TableArray.Cells(1, intPtr)) = vbString Then
strListString = Trim\$(LCase\$(TableArray.Cells(1, intPtr)))

'        If Rank = 1 Then
'            If strLookupValue = strListString Then
'                '-- 100% match ! --
'                If IndexNum > 0 Then
'                    FuzzyHLookup = TableArray.Cells(IndexNum, intPtr)
'                Else
'                    FuzzyHLookup = intPtr
'                End If
'                Exit Function
'            End If
'        End If

'------------------------------------------------
'-- Fuzzy match strings & get percentage match --
'------------------------------------------------
sngCurPercent = FuzzyPercent(String1:=strLookupValue, _
String2:=strListString, _
Algoritm:=Algoritm)

If sngCurPercent >= sngMinPercent Then
'---------------------------
'-- Store in ranked array --
'---------------------------
For intRankPtr = 1 To Rank
If sngCurPercent > udRankData(intRankPtr).Percentage Then
For intRankPtr1 = Rank To intRankPtr + 1 Step -1
With udRankData(intRankPtr1)
.Offset = udRankData(intRankPtr1 - 1).Offset
.Percentage = udRankData(intRankPtr1 - 1).Percentage
End With
Next intRankPtr1
With udRankData(intRankPtr)
.Offset = intPtr
.Percentage = sngCurPercent
End With
Exit For
End If
Next intRankPtr
End If

End If
intPtr = intPtr + 1
Loop

If udRankData(Rank).Percentage < sngMinPercent Then
'--------------------------------------
'-- Return '#N/A' if below NFPercent --
'--------------------------------------
FuzzyHLookup = CVErr(xlErrNA)
Else
intBestMatchPtr = udRankData(Rank).Offset
If IndexNum > 0 Then
'-----------------------------------
'-- Return row entry specified --
'-----------------------------------
FuzzyHLookup = TableArray.Cells(IndexNum, intBestMatchPtr)
Else
'-----------------------
'-- Return offset col --
'-----------------------
FuzzyHLookup = intBestMatchPtr
End If
End If
End Function``````
HTH

Alan

#### mits

##### New Member
Alan,

Thanks for posting the VBA script, but WOW! That went right over my head. I have no idea how to impliment such a script. In a few lines could you possibly explain how?

Much thanks!

#### al_b_cnu

##### Well-known Member
Hi,

Ok then ...
1) Type < Alt-F11 >
2) Insert Module
3) copy code from the post & paste it into your module.

If your lookup value is in cell A1 and your lookup table is in column B and you want your result in cell C1, suggest you put the following in cell C1:

=FuzzyVLookup(A1,B:B,1,0.5,1,1)

This will return the best match for A1 in column B, but return #N/A if the best match is < 50%.

HTH

Alan

#### excel_1317

##### Board Regular
Hi,

Ok then ...
1) Type < Alt-F11 >
2) Insert Module
3) copy code from the post & paste it into your module.

If your lookup value is in cell A1 and your lookup table is in column B and you want your result in cell C1, suggest you put the following in cell C1:

=FuzzyVLookup(A1,B:B,1,0.5,1,1)

This will return the best match for A1 in column B, but return #N/A if the best match is < 50%.

HTH

Alan