# Excel - LOOKUP Function Problem - Expert Solution

Question description:
This user has given permission to use the problem statement for this blog.

How do I lookup and return an answer to a formula when I want it to do a partial match? Say one spreadsheet has spf1234 and I want it to pull in an answer matching just "1234".
Solved by B. W. in 19 mins
This is the chat thread from the real Excelchat help session. It contains no private user information.
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:15
Hello!
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:15
Welcome!
User 30/07/2018 - 02:15
Hello!
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:16
For your question, does the partial match alway consistent
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:16
Or they are case by case
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:16
?
User 30/07/2018 - 02:16
case by case
User 30/07/2018 - 02:16
User 30/07/2018 - 02:17
I have two spreadsheets. An original from a customer and then mine with all the data I want to pull in,
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:17
Ok
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:17
I see
User 30/07/2018 - 02:18
I thought lookup but that isn't working because the customer spreadsheet has different prefixes on the part#s I need to reference
User 30/07/2018 - 02:18
vlookup
User 30/07/2018 - 02:18
and the prefixes they've added aren't all the same.
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:19
Ok
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:19
That will be problematic
User 30/07/2018 - 02:19
Whew! At least I'm not stupid!
User 30/07/2018 - 02:19
Kinda wish I was missing something though. Lol
User 30/07/2018 - 02:20
Basically I need to know if I can write a formula that returns a value from another spreadsheet if a cell contains matching data.
User 30/07/2018 - 02:20
hence the spf1234 vs. 1234
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:20
Well....Since your string will not be consistent
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:21
That will be very unstable
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:21
Even if we use certain string finding functions in excel
User 30/07/2018 - 02:22
So no real fix?
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:22
Not really....
User 30/07/2018 - 02:23
Okay. Thank you!
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:24
No problem!
Excelchat Expert 30/07/2018 - 02:24
Hope you have a great night and solve this issue in a better approach!

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