Excel Found A Problem With One Or More Formula References Validate Address Information in Microsoft Excel

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Validate Address Information in Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel’s “custom functions” can do a variety of things with address and zip code information, such as importing demographic data, finding ZIP codes within a radius, even calculating travel times and distances. Custom functions (also called user-defined functions or UDFs) perform complex calculations or tasks and are used in cell formulas just like the standard Excel functions SUM, AVERAGE, or LOOKUP. In this article, we’ll show you how to use custom functions with Microsoft MapPoint to check the validity of street addresses.

Incorrect address information is a common problem. Street or city names may be misspelled, the zip code may not match the city information, or the street number may be incorrect. You can use a web-based program like MapQuest or Google Maps to check the validity of a single address, but for multiple addresses in a mailing list or delivery route, the best way is to use an automated program that can check large lists of data. all at once.

A custom Excel function that works with a stand-alone mapping program such as Microsoft MapPoint can automatically validate long lists of addresses and return the results directly to your worksheet. Because all interactions with MapPoint happen in the background, you can work entirely within the Excel environment—no need to learn a new application. For example, to check the validity of an address in cell A1 of a worksheet, you could enter an appropriate custom function formula (entered in cell B1, for example) that would look something like this: “=CustomFunction(A1)”. If the address appears to be valid, the “best match” address is returned in cell B1. If no match is found, the message “Bad Address” is returned. MapPoint also has the ability to provide the best match information even if there is a small error in the address. In cases where a city or street is misspelled in the zip code, or numbers have been carried over, these errors will be corrected with the best match on the worksheet.

For a long list of addresses in column A, the custom function formula can be copied and pasted into column B as needed so you can automatically validate many addresses without the time-consuming manual input required for other mapping programs.

It is also possible to specify that if the address is set to valid, the worksheet will return other types of data. For example, address geocode information such as latitude and longitude can be returned. Street name, city, state, zip code, or country information can also be returned, providing a reliable way to parse an address into separate worksheet cells.

This is a good example of how Excel’s custom functions can use other applications, such as Microsoft MapPoint, to automate specialized tasks and calculations without having to learn a new application or even leave the familiar Excel environment. From validating address information to identifying zip codes within a radius, custom functions can be valuable tools for analyzing zip codes and other location-based information.

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