# Excel fuzzy logic VBA for removing duplicates

A solution I use is to sweep an export of the database for duplicates using the following fuzzy logic match Excel vb macro. Filemaker is my database of choice these days but one of the major issues of database design I find difficult is the balance between freedom of entry and stopping duplicates being created and this helps greatly.

Text file of the vb macros below

Option Explicit
Type RankInfo
Offset As Integer
Percentage As Single
End Type

Function FuzzyPercent(ByVal String1 As String, _
ByVal String2 As String, _
Optional Algorithm As Integer = 3, _
Optional Normalised As Boolean = False) As Single
‘*************************************
‘** Return a % match on two strings **
‘*************************************
Dim intLen1 As Integer, intLen2 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

‘——————————————————-
‘– If strings havent been normalised, normalise them —
‘——————————————————-
If Normalised = False Then
String1 = LCase\$(Application.Trim(String1))
String2 = LCase\$(Application.Trim(String2))
End If

‘———————————————-
‘– Give 100% match if strings exactly equal —
‘———————————————-
If String1 = String2 Then
FuzzyPercent = 1
Exit Function
End If

intLen1 = Len(String1)
intLen2 = Len(String2)

‘—————————————-
‘– 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 Algorithm = 1 or 3, Search for single characters —
‘——————————————————–
If (Algorithm And 1) <> 0 Then
FuzzyAlg1 String1, String2, intScore, intTotScore
If intLen1 < intLen2 Then FuzzyAlg1 String2, String1, intScore, intTotScore
End If

‘———————————————————–
‘– If Algorithm = 2 or 3, Search for pairs, triplets etc. —
‘———————————————————–
If (Algorithm And 2) <> 0 Then
FuzzyAlg2 String1, String2, intScore, intTotScore
If intLen1 < intLen2 Then FuzzyAlg2 String2, String1, intScore, intTotScore
End If

FuzzyPercent = intScore / intTotScore

End Function
Private Sub FuzzyAlg1(ByVal String1 As String, _
ByVal String2 As String, _
ByRef Score As Integer, _
ByRef TotScore As Integer)
Dim intLen1 As Integer, intPos As Integer, intPtr As Integer, intStartPos As Integer

intLen1 = Len(String1)
TotScore = TotScore + intLen1              ‘update total possible score
intPos = 0
For intPtr = 1 To intLen1
intStartPos = intPos + 1
intPos = InStr(intStartPos, String2, Mid\$(String1, intPtr, 1))
If intPos > 0 Then
If intPos > intStartPos + 3 Then     ‘No match if char is > 3 bytes away
intPos = intStartPos
Else
Score = Score + 1          ‘Update current score
End If
Else
intPos = intStartPos
End If
Next intPtr
End Sub
Private Sub FuzzyAlg2(ByVal String1 As String, _
ByVal String2 As String, _
ByRef Score As Integer, _
ByRef TotScore As Integer)
Dim intCurLen As Integer, intLen1 As Integer, intTo As Integer, intPtr As Integer, intPos As Integer
Dim strWork As String

intLen1 = Len(String1)
For intCurLen = 2 To intLen1
strWork = String2                          ‘Get a copy of String2
intTo = intLen1 – intCurLen + 1
TotScore = TotScore + Int(intLen1 / intCurLen)  ‘Update total possible score
For intPtr = 1 To intTo Step intCurLen
intPos = InStr(strWork, Mid\$(String1, intPtr, intCurLen))
If intPos > 0 Then
Mid\$(strWork, intPos, intCurLen) = String\$(intCurLen, &H0) ‘corrupt found string
Score = Score + 1     ‘Update current score
End If
Next intPtr
Next intCurLen

End Sub

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 Algorithm As Integer = 3, _
Optional AdditionalCols As Integer = 0) 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.   **
‘**                                                                            **
‘** Algorithm can take one of the following values:                            **
‘** Algorithm = 1:                                                             **
‘**     This algorithm is best suited for matching mis-spellings.              **
‘**     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.                                **
‘** Algorithm = 2:                                                             **
‘**     This algorithm is best suited for matching sentences, or               **
‘**     ‘firstname lastname’ compared with ‘lastname firstname’ combinations   **
‘**     A count of matching pairs, triplets, quadruplets etc. in ‘String1’ and **
‘**     ‘String2’ is returned as a percentage of the total possible.           **
‘** Algorithm = 3: Both Algorithms 1 and 2 are performed.                      **
‘********************************************************************************
Dim R As Range

Dim strListString As String
Dim strWork As String

Dim sngMinPercent As Single
Dim sngWork As Single
Dim sngCurPercent  As Single
Dim intBestMatchPtr As Integer
Dim intRankPtr As Integer
Dim intRankPtr1 As Integer
Dim I As Integer

Dim lEndRow As Long

Dim udRankData() As RankInfo

Dim vCurValue As Variant

‘————————————————————–
‘–    Validation                                            —
‘————————————————————–

LookupValue = LCase\$(Application.Trim(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)

lEndRow = TableArray.Rows.Count
If VarType(TableArray.Cells(lEndRow, 1).Value) = vbEmpty Then
lEndRow = TableArray.Cells(lEndRow, 1).End(xlUp).Row
End If

‘—————
‘– Main loop —
‘—————
For Each R In Range(TableArray.Cells(1, 1), TableArray.Cells(lEndRow, 1))
vCurValue = “”
For I = 0 To AdditionalCols
vCurValue = vCurValue & R.Offset(0, I).Text
Next I
If VarType(vCurValue) = vbString Then
strListString = LCase\$(Application.Trim(vCurValue))

‘————————————————
‘– Fuzzy match strings & get percentage match —
‘————————————————
sngCurPercent = FuzzyPercent(String1:=LookupValue, _
String2:=strListString, _
Algorithm:=Algorithm, _
Normalised:=True)

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 = R.Row
.Percentage = sngCurPercent
End With
Exit For
End If
Next intRankPtr
End If

End If
Next R

If udRankData(Rank).Percentage < sngMinPercent Then
‘————————————–
‘– Return ‘#N/A’ if below NFPercent —
‘————————————–
FuzzyVLookup = CVErr(xlErrNA)
Else
intBestMatchPtr = udRankData(Rank).Offset – TableArray.Cells(1, 1).Row + 1
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 Algorithm 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.  **
‘**                                                                            **
‘** Algorithm can take one of the following values:                            **
‘** Algorithm = 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.                                **
‘** Algorithm = 2:                                                             **
‘**     A count of matching pairs, triplets, quadruplets etc. in ‘String1’ and **
‘**     ‘String2’ is returned as a percentage of the total possible.           **
‘** Algorithm = 3: Both Algorithms 1 and 2 are performed.                      **
‘********************************************************************************
Dim R As Range

Dim strListString As String
Dim strWork As String

Dim sngMinPercent As Single
Dim sngWork As Single
Dim sngCurPercent  As Single

Dim intBestMatchPtr As Integer
Dim intPtr As Integer
Dim intRankPtr As Integer
Dim intRankPtr1 As Integer

Dim iEndCol As Integer

Dim udRankData() As RankInfo

Dim vCurValue As Variant
‘————————————————————–
‘–    Validation                                            —
‘————————————————————–
LookupValue = LCase\$(Application.Trim(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)
‘**************************
iEndCol = TableArray.Columns.Count
If VarType(TableArray.Cells(1, iEndCol).Value) = vbEmpty Then
iEndCol = TableArray.Cells(1, iEndCol).End(xlToLeft).Column
End If

‘—————
‘– Main loop —
‘—————
For Each R In Range(TableArray.Cells(1, 1), TableArray.Cells(1, iEndCol))
vCurValue = R.Value
If VarType(vCurValue) = vbString Then
strListString = LCase\$(Application.Trim(vCurValue))

‘————————————————
‘– Fuzzy match strings & get percentage match —
‘————————————————
sngCurPercent = FuzzyPercent(String1:=LookupValue, _
String2:=strListString, _
Algorithm:=Algorithm, _
Normalised:=True)

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 = R.Column
.Percentage = sngCurPercent
End With
Exit For
End If
Next intRankPtr
End If

End If
Next R

If udRankData(Rank).Percentage < sngMinPercent Then
‘————————————–
‘– Return ‘#N/A’ if below NFPercent —
‘————————————–
FuzzyHLookup = CVErr(xlErrNA)
Else
intBestMatchPtr = udRankData(Rank).Offset – TableArray.Cells(1, 1).Column + 1
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

Above contains the three functions: FUZZYVLOOKUP, FUZZYHLOOKUP and FUZZYPERCENT.

• FUZZYVLOOKUP ( LookupValue, TableArray, IndexNum, NFpercent, Rank, Algorithm, AdditionalCols)
• FUZZYHLOOKUP ( LookupValue, TableArray, IndexNum, NFpercent, Rank, Algorithm, AdditionalCols)
• FUZZYPERCENT (String1, String2, Algorithm, Normalised)

Lookupvalue
The value to search in the first column of the table array

Tablearray
One or more columns of data. Use a reference to a range or a range name. The values in the first column of table array are the values searched by lookup value.

Indexnum
The column number in the table array from which the matching value must be returned. An index num of 1 returns the value in the first column in the table array; an index num of 2 returns the value in the second column in the table array, and so on. If index num is zero, the relative row number in the table array is returned.

NFpercent
The Percentage value below which matching strings are deemed as not found. If no strings in the lookup table equal or exceed this matching percentage, #N/A is returned.
The higher the percentage specified, the higher the confidence level in the returned result.
Default: 5%

Rank
An optional parameter which may take any value > 0 and causes the function to return the specified ranking best match.
Default: 1

Algorithm
Defines the algorithm to be used for matching strings. Valid values are 1, 2 or 3:
Algorithm = 1
This algorithm is best suited for matching mis-spellings.
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.
Algorithm = 2
This algorithm is best suited for matching sentences, or ‘firstname lastname’ compared with ‘lastname firstname’ combinations.
A count of matching pairs, triplets, quadruplets etc. in ‘String1’ and ‘String2’ is returned as a percentage of the total possible.
Algorithm = 3: Both Algorithms 1 and 2 are performed.
Default: 3

Defines the number of subsequent columns after the first within the table array to be concatenated with the first column prior to matching.
Default: 0

String1
The first string to be matched. FuzzyVLookup will pass the lookup value supplied (but normalised) as this parameter.

String2
The second string to be matched. FuzzyVLookup will pass each of the lookup table strings supplied (but normalised) as this parameter.

Algorithm
Algorithm to be used. See FuzzyVLookup for further details.
Default: 3

Normalised
Boolean value indicating whether the two supplied strings have been normalised. Normalised strings have had leading, trailing and multiple internal spaces removed, and have been converted to lowercase.
Default: False