Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

You can use Ctrl+/ to automatically select the cells in an array that includes the active cell.

2.
Press F2 to enter edit mode.

3.
Press Ctrl+Enter.

This step enters an identical (non-array) formula into each selected cell.

4.
Change your range selection to include additional or fewer cells.

5.
Press F2 to reenter edit mode.

6.
Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

Array formulas: The downside

If you've read straight through to this point in the chapter, you probably understand some of the advantages of us-

ing array formulas. The main advantage, of course, is that an array formula enables you to perform otherwise im-

possible calculations. As you gain more experience with arrays, you undoubtedly will discover some disadvant-

ages.

Array formulas are one of the least understood features of Excel. Consequently, if you plan to share a workbook

with someone who may need to make modifications, you should probably avoid using array formulas. Encounter-

ing an array formula when you don't know what it is can be very confusing.

You might also discover that you can easily forget to enter an array formula by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter. If you

edit an existing array, you still must use these keys to complete the edits. Except for logical errors, this is probably

the most common problem that users have with array formulas. If you press Enter by mistake after editing an ar-

ray formula, just press F2 to get back into edit mode and then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

Another potential problem with array formulas is that they can sometimes slow your worksheet's recalculations,

especially if you use very large arrays. On a faster system, this may not be a problem. But, conversely, using an

array formula is almost always faster than using a custom VBA function. (Part VI of this book covers custom VBA

functions.)

Using Multicell Array Formulas

This section contains examples that demonstrate additional features of multicell array formulas. A multicell ar-

ray formula is a single formula that's entered into a range of cells. These features include creating arrays from

values, performing operations, using functions, transposing arrays, and generating consecutive integers.

Creating an array from values in a range

The following array formula creates an array from a range of cells. Figure 14-8 shows a workbook with some

data entered into A1:C4. The range D8:F11 contains a single array formula:

{=A1:C4}

The array in D8:F11 is linked to the range A1:C4. Change any value in A1:C4, and the corresponding cell in

D8:F11 reflects that change.