Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Using Multicell Array Formulas**

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.

Using Multicell Array Formulas

This section contains examples that demonstrate additional features of multicell array formulas (array

formulas that are 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 14-7 shows a workbook

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

{=A1:C4}

Array formulas: The downside

If you’ve read straight through to this point in the chapter, you probably understand some of the

advantages of using array formulas. The main advantage, of course, is that an array formula

enables you to perform otherwise impossible calculations. As you gain more experience with

arrays, you undoubtedly will discover some disadvantages.

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. Encountering 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 array 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 topic covers custom VBA functions.)