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NewITZone, Computer Enthusiast
Category: Microsoft Office
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Experience:  I have been using Office Pro for 10 years and implemented applications for business use.
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GoogleDoc Spreadsheet Combination

Customer Question


***I'm also currently in the googledoc spreadsheet above where there is a chat box in case you have questions. Thanks!***


Hello. Ok, so I am somewhat familiar with google spreadsheets. I am currently working on a task which requires me to
compare the probability of something. Long story short, I will know 22 predetermined words. (every scenario will have
different words, however there will always be 22 words). I know that in every scenario, I will have 21 letters out of 26. I
do not know these letters ahead of time. My goal is to input the 22 words into the spreadsheet and have the spreadsheet run
through all 65780 possible combinations of 21 of 26 letters, and then give me a breakdown of how many times out of 65780 I
got 0 words per the 21 letters, how many times I got 1 word per the 21 letters, etc. etc. Does this make sense? I can share
my googledoc spreadsheet with you which has a baseline for what I am looking to accomplish.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Microsoft Office
Expert:  Russell H. replied 4 years ago.
It sounds to me as if arrays would be the best way to accomplish that task (which sounds to me like a problem with permutations, not probability strictly speaking - though some view permutations as a subset of probability theory.)

It sounds to me - correct me if I'm wrong - as if you are getting a 'sample' of 22 words, and each one and all of them use only 21 letters of the alphabet.
The spreadsheet formula is supposed to go through permutations of 21 letters (why 65780 of them? you must have a criterion about maximum word length or some such...), generate all possible permutations (again, presumably with a limit on word length), and produce as a result the breakdown of how many 'hits' among the 22 words in the sample, are matched in those permutations.

I want to check on what you are trying to get done, exactly, before making any statement as to how to do it or whether it is feasible etc. Thanks.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

If you take a look at the spreadsheet it may help. The 22 words are alway going to be different. However, we know that there are 26 letters in the alphabet and we know that I will be given 21 letters. I don't know which 21 letters I will get. The letters I receive then all have to be in a word in order for me to successfully have a completed word. My goal is to see for every possible combination of 21 letters I receive how many words I will have successfully completed.


My method of thinking is that abcdefghijklmnopqrst-u is compared to all the words that I have inputted. Next abdefghijklmnopqrst-v is compared to all the words that I have inputted. Next abdefghijklmnopqrst-w is compared, and so on and so forth.


Basically the 22 words I input are alway checked againt all 65780 combinations. I am not concerned about permutations because if I am given the letter 'A' example, it applies to all words that have the letter 'A' in it. I do not need multiple 'A's to complete other words. One given letter gets to be reused for every word. Therefore, from my understanding, there are 65780 combination for 21 selected letters out of a possible 26.

Expert:  Russell H. replied 4 years ago.
Is each word checked, by itself... or are all words checked together as a unit?

If I understand correctly - the set that is being matched, is the set of 21 out of 26 letters, but not just 21 letters, but any 21 out of *all* those 26, am I right?

So if the set to be matched is A through U, then the word 'COUGH' is a match but 'ZEBRA' isn't because of the Z - right?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, paragraph 2 and 3 are correct. I am unsure about how to answer the first paragraph.


I don't really know what is being checked. I just know that I will have 22 different words every time. Those 22 words are going to be comprised of upto 26 different letters. I will only be receiving 21 letters to use as many time as applicable. Finally, my goal is to find out how many complete words as you describe in paragraph 3 can be made from the every single possible combination of 21 out of 26 letters.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Any word on the status of this?

Expert:  Russell H. replied 4 years ago.
I don't think I'm going to make much progress on this, given that I'm not very good at spreadsheet macros. And I can't seem to understand the exact details of the task that is being asked about... and I have taken much too long trying. I am Opting Out, with apologies for not doing better, in favor of any other Expert here who, I hope, may find this problem more compatible with their abilities.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I can understand that. How am I able to get another expert to view and answer this? Thanks.

Expert:  Rachel-Mod replied 4 years ago.


I’m a moderator for this topic. It seems the Professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the Professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!


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