Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working with Array Formulas
Working with Array Formulas
This section deals with the mechanics of selecting cells that contain arrays, as well as entering
and editing array formulas. These procedures differ a bit from working with ordinary ranges and
formulas.
Entering an array formula
When you enter an array formula into a cell or range, you must follow a special procedure so
Excel knows that you want an array formula rather than a normal formula. You enter a normal
formula into a cell by pressing Enter. You enter an array formula into one or more cells by
pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter.
You can easily identify an array formula because the formula is enclosed in curly brackets in the
Formula bar. The following formula, for example, is an array formula:
{=SUM(LEN(A1:A5))}
Don’t enter the curly brackets when you create an array formula; Excel inserts them for you after
you press Ctrl+Shift+Enter. If the result of an array formula consists of more than one value, you
must select all of the cells in the results range before you enter the formula. If you fail to do this,
only the first element of the result is returned.
Selecting an array formula range
You can select the cells that contain a multicell array formula manually by using the normal cell
selection procedures. Alternatively, you can use either of the following methods:
h Activate any cell in the array formula range. Choose Home
Go
To Special, and then select the Current Array option. When you click OK to close the
dialog box, Excel selects the array.
Editing
Find & Select
h Activate any cell in the array formula range and press Ctrl+/ to select the entire array.
Editing an array formula
If an array formula occupies multiple cells, you must edit the entire range as though it were a
single cell. The key point to remember is that you can’t change just one element of an array formula.
If you attempt to do so, Excel displays the message shown in Figure 14-6. Click OK and press Esc
to exit edit mode; then select the entire range and try again.
 
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