How to Extract or Pull Specific Words from a Database or Collection

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A web query by one of our website visitors Mason: 'I have a large database of names of boys and girls arranged in alphabetical order. I wish to extract only the four letter names. Is there a method to do this in Excel easily? Can I use the 'len' function to accomplish this task?'

We describe below in the MS Excel training video a few methods to solve the problem:

  • Use AutoFilter with wild card characters to perform the extraction
  • Use Advanced Filter with wild card characters '?' and the copy feature to pull the required words from the database
  • Use the LEN function in Excel in combination with the IF function to extract the exact data from the database
  • Use a macro or Excel VBA to pull data from the collection of of works
  • Finally attach the above macro to a command button and find the exact information you need
Although we have described the finding and extraction of four letter words you can use use the above solution to find all kinds of data from a database using MS Excel.


Watch the Microsoft Excel training video for a complete demo: