Question:

How do I search a list containing First name column and a last name column? I want to search both columns at the same time with two different criteria (one criteria for each column) and then display multiple search results.

multiple-criteria-lookup-with-multiple-results

Answer:

I created two search fields. First and last name in E2 and G2. The search results are presented in column D and E. See picture below.

multiple-criteria-lookup-with-multiple-results1

The array formula in cell D6:

=INDEX($B$2:$B$16, SMALL(IF(ISNUMBER((SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16))*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16))), ROW($A$2:$A$16)-MIN(ROW($A$2:$A$16))+1, ""), ROW(A1)))

How to create an array formula

  1. Copy (Ctrl + c) and paste (Ctrl + v) array formula into formula bar.
  2. Press and hold Ctrl + Shift.
  3. Press Enter once.
  4. Release all keys.

Copy cell D6 and paste it down as far as needed.

The array formula in cell E6:

=INDEX($A$2:$A$16, SMALL(IF(ISNUMBER((SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16))*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16))), ROW($A$2:$A$16)-MIN(ROW($A$2:$A$16))+1, ""), ROW(A1))) + CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER. Copy cell E6 and paste it down as far as needed.

Explaining the array formula in cell D6

Step 1 - Find rows where all criteria match

=INDEX($B$2:$B$16, SMALL(IF(ISNUMBER((SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16)*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16))), ROW($A$2:$A$16)-MIN(ROW($A$2:$A$16))+1, ""), ROW(A1)))

Search() function returns the number of the character at which a specific character or text string is first found, reading left to right (not case sensitive).

SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16)*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16) returns this array:

(#VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE, 24, 6,  #VALUE, #VALUE,#VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE)

(SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16)*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16)) contains only absolute references.

Step 2 - Identify numbers in array

=INDEX($B$2:$B$16, SMALL(IF(ISNUMBER((SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16)*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16))), ROW($A$2:$A$16)-MIN(ROW($A$2:$A$16))+1, ""), ROW(A1)))

ISNUMBER(value) checks whether a value is a number and returns TRUE or FALSE

ISNUMBER((SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16)*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16)))

becomes

ISNUMBER(#VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE, 24, 6,  #VALUE, #VALUE,#VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE, #VALUE))

and returns this array:

(FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, TRUE, TRUE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE)

Step 3 - Convert boolean values into row numbers

=INDEX($B$2:$B$16, SMALL(IF(ISNUMBER((SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16)*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16))), ROW($A$2:$A$16)-MIN(ROW($A$2:$A$16))+1, ""), ROW(A1)))

IF() checks whether a condition is met, and returns one value if TRUE, and another value if FALSE

IF(ISNUMBER((SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16)*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16))), ROW($A$2:$A$16)-MIN(ROW($A$2:$A$16))+1, "")

becomes

IF( (FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, TRUE, TRUE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE) , ROW($A$2:$A$16)-MIN(ROW($A$2:$A$16))+1, "")

becomes

IF( (FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, TRUE, TRUE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, FALSE) , (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, 10,11, 12,13, 14) , "")

and returns this array: ("","","","","", 6, 7, "", "", "", "", "", "", "")

Step 4 - Return k-th samllest value

=INDEX($B$2:$B$16, SMALL(IF(ISNUMBER((SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16)*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16))), ROW($A$2:$A$16)-MIN(ROW($A$2:$A$16))+1, ""), ROW(A1)))

SMALL(array,k) returns the k-th smallest row number in this data set.

SMALL(IF(ISNUMBER((SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16)*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16))), ROW($A$2:$A$16)-MIN(ROW($A$2:$A$16))+1, ""), ROW(A1))

becomes

SMALL(("","","","","", 6, 7, "", "", "", "", "", "", ""), ROW(A1))

becomes

SMALL(("","","","","", 6, 7, "", "", "", "", "", "", ""), 1)

and returns 6

Step 5 - Return a value of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column

INDEX(array,row_num,[column_num])
Returns a value or reference of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column, in a given range

=INDEX($B$2:$B$16, SMALL(IF(ISNUMBER((SEARCH($E$2, $B$2:$B$16))*(SEARCH($G$2, $A$2:$A$16))), ROW($A$2:$A$16)-MIN(ROW($A$2:$A$16))+1, ""), ROW(A1)))

becomes

=INDEX($B$2:$B$16,6) and returns Fernando in cell D6.

Download excel sample file for this tutorial.

multiple-criteria-lookup-with-multiple-results.xls
(Excel 97-2003 Workbook *.xls)

Functions used in this article

IF(logical_test;[value_if:true];[value_if_false])
Checks whether a condition is met, and returns one value if TRUE, and another value if FALSE

INDEX(array,row_num,[column_num])
Returns a value or reference of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column, in a given range

ROW(reference) returns the rownumber of a reference

COUNT(value1;[value2])
Counts the number of cells in a range that contain numbers

SMALL(array,k) returns the k-th smallest row number in this data set.

ISNUMBER(value)
Checks whether a value is a number and returns TRUE or FALSE

SUM(number1,[number2],)
Adds all the numbers in a range of cells

SEARCH() Returns the number of the character at which a specific character or text string is first found, reading left to right (not case sensitive)

This blog article is one out of five articles on the same subject.


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