Help the Excel noob with vlookup partial matches

Hi there!

I've got a butt ton of web page titles in column A that I need to match up with their URLS that currently reside in column D. In column C are the titles of all of those URLs. Column D currently contains thousands of URLs I don't need.

In an ideal world, I could use vlookup to simply match titles in column A to titles in column C and pull over the identified values from column D into column B. BUT the darn titles in column C aren't exactly the same as column A's, for some reason. They have some metadata garbage on the end of em. So they are NEARLY the same. I could work around this using the TRUE statement to conduct approximate matches, but many of the titles have the same first few words, so using the TRUE statement frequently returns an incorrect result.

Is there a way I can do a vlookup with combination of "First X words of the headline + "wildcard" OR, when using the TRUE statement, will give me all the possible options that I can choose from, instead of just dropping in the first one it finds?

VLOOKUP(A1&"*", [...], FALSE) seems to work for me:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/sp0FdfB.png)

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That worked! I thought I had tried that but was getting the syntax slightly wrong.

learn something new.. didn't know wildcards can be used in vlookups... seems dangerous. What happens if in Column C you had "aaa-metadata" and "aaa-megadata". Since you are using False as the 4th argument in the vlookup, and both of those actually match the aaa-* expression, does it error?

Carlbear95 wrote:

learn something new.. didn't know wildcards can be used in vlookups... seems dangerous. What happens if in Column C you had "aaa-metadata" and "aaa-megadata". Since you are using False as the 4th argument in the vlookup, and both of those actually match the aaa-* expression, does it error?

The first one it encounters would be shown. Gotta know when you want to use it, and when you don't. In the particular case here, it's fine.

Finding multiple matches