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# Excel/Extract variable entangled content

Question
Dear Tom, first off: a very happy new year to you!

Using Excel 2010, I've got alphanumeric data in cells A2 to B... (usually 200+ rows).
With formulas from C2 and D2 copying down, or VBA, how could I extract each Acnt (cnt for alphanumeric content) that relates to the B content in column C, and each Bcnt that relates to the A content in column D, conform below sample?

In the below sample, cells C5 and D5 equal the content of cells A5 and B5 respectively because content 'A1' only links to content 'B1', and 'B1' links to 'A1' alone. One or more contents of column A could relate to those of column B and the other way around. Hence cell C2 lists A5&A6&A7 as the 'A6' content in cell A2 links to content 'B6' in cell B2, whilst 'B6' also relates to content 'A7' (cell A7), that in turn links to content 'B5' (cell B4), where 'B5' links to 'A5' as well (cell A9).

A   B   C        D
1   Acnt   Bcnt   Aextract     Bextract
2   A6   B6   A5&A6&A7  B5&B6
3   A4   B3   A4         B3&B4
4   A7   B5   A5&A6&A7  B5&B6
5   A1   B1   A1         B1
6   A3   B2   A2&A3      B2
7   A7   B6   A5&A6&A7   B5&B6
8   A2   B2   A2&A3       B2
9   A5   B5   A5&A6&A7   B5&B6
10   A4   B4   A4          B3&B4

Many thanks in advance, kind regards, Joe

Joe,

OK, I had some time to play with it and came up with this macro. It reproduces the results you show (although the string of characters in columns C and D are not in the same order you show).

Sub abc()
Dim vA() As String, vB() As String
Dim r As Range, cell As Range, cell1 As Range
Dim i As Long, j As Long
Dim sA As String, sB As String
Dim added As Boolean, bFound As Boolean
Set r = Range("A2", Cells(Rows.Count, 1).End(xlUp))
For Each cell In r
ReDim vA(1 To 1)
ReDim vB(1 To 1)
vA(1) = cell.Value
vB(1) = cell.Offset(0, 1).Value
Do
For Each cell1 In r
For i = LBound(vA) To UBound(vA)
If cell1 = vA(i) Then
bFound = False
For j = LBound(vB) To UBound(vB)
If vB(j) = cell1.Offset(0, 1).Value Then
bFound = True
Exit For
End If
Next
If Not bFound Then
ReDim Preserve vB(1 To UBound(vB) + 1)
vB(UBound(vB)) = cell1.Offset(0, 1).Value
End If
End If
Next i

For i = LBound(vB) To UBound(vB)
If cell1.Offset(0, 1).Value = vB(i) Then
bFound = False
For j = LBound(vA) To UBound(vA)
If vA(j) = cell1.Value Then
bFound = True
Exit For
End If
Next
If Not bFound Then
ReDim Preserve vA(1 To UBound(vA) + 1)
vA(UBound(vA)) = cell1.Value
End If
End If
Next i

End If
Next cell1
sA = ""
sB = ""
For i = LBound(vA) To UBound(vA)
sA = sA & vA(i) & "&"
Next
sA = Left(sA, Len(sA) - 1)
For j = LBound(vB) To UBound(vB)
sB = sB & vB(j) & "&"
Next
sB = Left(sB, Len(sB) - 1)
cell.Offset(0, 2).Value = sA
cell.Offset(0, 3).Value = sB
Next cell
End Sub

It assumes your data starts in A2 as you show (with headers in row 1).

--
Regards,
Tom Ogilvy

Questioner's Rating

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#### Tom Ogilvy

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Selected as an Excel MVP by Microsoft since 1999. Answering Excel questions in Allexperts since its inception in 2001. Able to answer questions on almost all aspects of Excel's internal capabilities. If seeking a VBA solution, please specify that in your question itself so I give you the answer you want. [Excel has weak protection - if you are distributing an application, I don't answer questions on how to protect your project from your users.]

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Extensive experience.

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Master of Science (MS) degree Operations Research (ORSA)

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