Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 14: Introducing Arrays
Introducing Arrays
In This Chapter
The definition of an array and an array formula
One-dimensional versus two-dimensional arrays
How to work with array constants
Techniques for working with array formulas
Examples of multicell array formulas
Examples of array formulas that occupy a single cell
One of Excel’s most interesting (and most powerful) features is its ability to work with arrays in a
formula. When you understand this concept, you’ll be able to create elegant formulas that appear
to perform magic. This chapter introduces the concept of arrays and is required reading for
anyone who wants to become a master of Excel formulas. Chapter 15 continues with lots of useful
Introducing Array Formulas
If you do any computer programming, you’ve probably been exposed to the concept of an array.
An array is a collection of items operated on collectively or individually. In Excel, an array can be
one-dimensional or two-dimensional. These dimensions correspond to rows and columns. For
example, a one-dimensional array can be stored in a range that consists of one row (a horizontal
array) or one column (a vertical array). A two-dimensional array can be stored in a rectangular
range of cells. Excel doesn’t support three-dimensional arrays (although its VBA programming
language does).
As you’ll see, though, arrays need not be stored in cells. You can also work with arrays that exist
only in Excel’s memory. You can then use an array formula to manipulate this information and
return a result. An array formula can occupy multiple cells or reside in a single cell.
This section presents two array formula examples: an array formula that occupies multiple cells,
and another array formula that occupies only one cell.
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