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How to lookup partial string match in Excel?

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2020-04-27

For example, there is a range of data, and column E is the students’ name list, column F and G are the class and grade of the students, and column H is the ranking of the students’ scores, now you have a given name “Jack” which is the partial string of “Jacky”, how can you quickly lookup partial string match and return the ranking of the “Jacky” as below screenshot shown.
doc lookup partial string 1

VLOOKUP partial string match in Excel

arrow blue right bubble VLOOKUP partial string match in Excel

Here I have some formulas to help you lookup partial string match in Excel.

1. Select a blank cell to enter the partial string that you want to look up. See screenshot:
doc lookup partial string 2

2. Select another cell which you will place the look up value at, and enter this formula =VLOOKUP($K$1&"*",$E$1:$H$14,4,FALSE), press Enter key to get to value. See screenshot:
doc lookup partial string 3


1. In the formula, K1 is the cell containing the partial string, E1:H14 is the data range, 4 indicates to lookup value in the Forth column of the range. You can change them as you need.

2. If you just want to find which name is partial match the given name, you also can use this formula =INDEX($E$2:$E$14,MATCH($K$1&"*",E2:E14,0)). (E2:E14 is the column list you want to lookup from, k1 is the given name, you can change as you need.)
doc lookup partial string 4

Lookup a value across multiple sheets or workbooks

Generally, the LOOKUP function in Excel only supports to lookup a value in active sheet or the active workbook, in some times, you may want to lookup across multiple sheets. The LOOKUP Across Multiple Sheets of Kutools for Excel will do you favor.  Click for free full featured trial in 30 days!
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Comments (8)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I have a scenario to match two column values.

col1 col2
abc-1 abc
def xyz
xyz-1 def
tnt-1 mno
mno-1 tnt

so i would like match the column values partially(eliminate '-1' and match the remaining part).

please advise.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Re Shakira and Alice's question above - a simple workaround is just to use TRUNC of LEFT formula to truncate the first list. You could shorten it to 8 characters to limit the first list to LOGITECH or even less to cover shorter company names too...
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Would be very helpful if there was a answer to Shakira's question. I have the same issue
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi all,
Could you reply to Shakiras comments please. I have the same issue here and I cannot seem to find a feasible solution unless I create a real complex formula which involves creating unnecessary columns.
Thank you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

I was wondering if there's a way to perform the VLOOKUP in the other way around, given that the lookup value may contain more characters than the return value. For example, in your example above, say you have Jacky as the lookup value and Jack in the list, and you want to return all similar names to Jacky. I have a list in which this case is present many times. My lookup value in the first list is a company called logitech europe s.a. and the name on the second list is simply logitech.

Thanks in advance!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I can't thank you enough, the =INDEX($E$2:$E$14,MATCH($K$1&"*",E2:E14,0)) is a real lifesaver
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I wish you would show us where to find it in Kutools. Great tool when you can find what you need
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, KHill, so far, there is no a featrue in Kutools for Excel can lookup partial match, but soon, we will release some new features about vlook in new version of Kutools, you can try them then.
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