I have a spreadsheet which is a dictionary mapping fantasy words to english definitions/words. I would like to be able to type the english word and get a list of matching fantasy words, when typing into a cell. How can I accomplish that in Google Spreadsheets, perhaps using an app script somehow? Is it possible?

For example, given this:


If I search "dev" it should show "foo" and "bar", or if I search "ph" it shows "baz", in an autocomplete list. Is anything like this possible in Google Sheets? It would help so much in mapping English words to fantasy words, I could simply type the English meaning and get the fantasy word, without having to go back to the fantasy sheet, CMD+F find the English word, then copy/paste the corresponding fantasy word back into the other sheet.

1 Answer 1


You can use SEARCH as a FILTER condition. FILTER will treat the results of SEARCH as an array. Also SEARCH is not case sensitive.

Columns A and B are your fantasy words and their english definitions. Enter the search term in C1.

Wrap the SEARCH formula into an ARRAYFORMULA to see how/why this works: =ARRAYFORMULA(SEARCH(C1,B1:B3))

Add a descriptive error message if there's no match: =IFERROR(FILTER(A1:B3,SEARCH(C1,B1:B3)),"no match")

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