# Excel Add In To Check All Formulas In A Workbook Find the Closest Zip Code With Microsoft Excel

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## Find the Closest Zip Code With Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel “custom functions” can perform many special functions related to address and location-based information, such as checking the validity of mailing addresses, importing demographic information, and calculating driving times and driving distances. Custom functions, also known as UDFs (User-Defined Functions), perform complex calculations or operations and are used in cell formulas like standard Excel functions SUM or AVERAGE. In this article we will explain how to use custom functions to identify which zip code in a list is closest to a target location.

There are many applications for identifying nearby zip codes or addresses. For example, a mailing list of potential customers can be matched with nearby store locations, or a list of delivery addresses can be associated with the nearest distribution centers. These types of analyzes require geocoded (latitude and longitude) coordinates to calculate straight-line distances between locations “as the crow flies.” After these distance calculations are completed for all possible combinations of zip codes, the one with the shortest distance is selected.

How can this be accomplished within an Excel worksheet? A custom function can automatically retrieve latitude and longitude data from a local database, and then perform distance calculations based on this data. Since this all happens completely in the background, there is no need to learn a new application or leave the familiar environment of Excel. For example, let’s say we have a list of store addresses in the worksheet range A1 to A10. We can find the closest store to a customer in zip 08034 by inputting a custom function into a worksheet cell like this: “=CustomFunction (A1:A10, 08034)”. The result returned to the worksheet will be the closest store within the specified range A1:A10.

We can apply the same custom function to the multiple customer addresses listed in column B. If the first customer zip code is in worksheet cell B1, cell C1 will have the formula =CustomFunction(A1:A10,B1). We can then copy and paste this formula to the rest of the list to find the closest store for each customer.

This is a good example of how Excel custom functions can automate various tasks and calculations, without the need to learn a new application or leave the familiar environment of Excel. From checking the validity of address information to finding the closest zip code to a target location, custom functions can be a valuable tool for analyzing address and location-based information.

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