## Merge lists with criteria

I have written a post about merging two single columns or ranges before: Merge two columns with possible blank cells . It demonstrates how to merge two different cell ranges dynamically and that is it. The following examples merge data tables with a criterion or criteria.

**Table of Contents**

Example 1 - Vlookup

Example 2 - INDEX and MATCH

Example 3 - Wild card search

Example 4 - Match multiple columns

### Example 1 - Vlookup

Here are two lists on two different sheets. They only share the same items.

Let us use the Item in the first list and search for it in the second list. The VLOOKUP function allows us to retrieve corresponding values. Here is the sheet1 list merged with sheet2 list.

**Formula in cell D2:**

Copy cell D2 and paste to E2. Then copy D2:E2 and paste to D3:E11.

**Explaining formula**

**Step 1 - VLOOKUP function**

**VLOOKUP(***lookup_value*, *table_array*, *col_index_num* ,*range_lookup***)**

The Vlookup function looks for a value in the leftmost column of a table and then returns a value in the same row from a column you specify.

**Step 2 - lookup_value argument**

The formula is entered in cell D2. It uses the lookup value in cell $A2. See the $ sign? It makes column A absolute, meaning it does not change when we copy the formula to column E.

**Step 3 - table_array argument**

The Vlookup function looks for the value in cell $A2 in the leftmost column of cell range 'Ex 1 - Sheet2'!$A$2:$C$11. It also returns a value from this cell range if there is a match and depending on the chosen column number in argument col_index_num. See next step.

**Step 4 - col_index_num argument**

col_index_num is a column number determining which column in cell 'Ex 1 - Sheet2'!$A$2:$C$11 we want to get values from. In my example I use COLUMN(B1), it returns 2 for formulas in column D and 3 for formulas in column E.

**Step 5 - range_lookup argument**

TRUE - Approximate match

FALSE - Exact match

### Example 2 - INDEX and MATCH

Here are two lists on two different sheets. They share the same items. The second list has "Items" in column B (blue circle). You can't use the VLOOKUP function now unless you move the Items column to the leftmost column in the cell range. But wait, you don´t have to do that.

This picture shows the merged list using INDEX and MATCH function.

**Formula in cell D2:**

Copy cell D2 to cell range D3:D11.

**Formula in cell E2:**

Copy cell E2 to cell range E3:E11.

**Explaining fomula in cell D2**

**Step 1 - Find the relative position with the value in cell A2 in cell range 'Ex 2 - Sheet2'!$B$2:$B$11**

MATCH('Ex 2 - Sheet1'!A2,'Ex 2 - Sheet2'!$B$2:$B$11,0)

becomes

MATCH("As 83",{"AS 65";"AS 83";"AS 93";"AS 23";"AS 80";"AS 61";"AS 47";"AS 11";"AS 91";"AS 55"},0)

and returns 2.

**Step 2 - Return a value of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column**

=INDEX('Ex 2 - Sheet2'!$A$2:$C$11,MATCH('Ex 2 - Sheet1'!A2,'Ex 2 - Sheet2'!$B$2:$B$11,0),1)

becomes

=INDEX('Ex 2 - Sheet2'!$A$2:$C$11,2,1)

becomes

=INDEX({"Linaeve","AS 65","(353) 613-9317"; "Celia","AS 83","(164) 935-5844"; "Susanne","AS 93","(944) 129-8789"; "Antwan","AS 23","(928) 167-5157"; "Maxim","AS 80","(671) 888-9733"; "Wilfred","AS 61","(525) 187-3658"; "Langdon","AS 47","(178) 902-7151"; "Ola","AS 11","(484) 346-7966"; "Andeana","AS 91","(196) 452-1011"; "Rosario","AS 55","(956) 218-7434"},2,1)

and returns value "Celia" from row 2 and column 1 in cell range 'Ex 2 - Sheet2'!$A$2:$C$11.

### Example 3 - Wild card search

Here we want to find the color for each category. The second list contains multiple categories and a corresponding color.

This picture shows the merged list.

**Formula in cell D2:**

Copy cell D2 and paste it to cell range D3:D11.

To be honest, you can use the VLOOKUP function in this example also, as long as you search in the leftmost column:

You can use other characters, as well: Wildcard characters

**Explaining the array formula in cell D2**

**Step 1 - Search for a text string in an array of cell values and return relative position of first match in array**

MATCH("*"&C2&"*",'Ex 3 - Sheet2'!$A$2:$A$5,0)

becomes

MATCH("*A*", {"A,B";"H,I,J";"F,G";"C,D,E"},0) and returns 1

**Step 2 - Return a value of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column**

=INDEX('Ex 3 - Sheet2'!$B$2:$B$5,MATCH("*"&C2&"*",'Ex 3 - Sheet2'!$A$2:$A$5,0))

becomes

=INDEX({"Yellow"; "Red"; "White"; "Brown"}, 1)

and returns "Yellow" in cell D2.

### Example 4 - Match multiple columns

This example demonstrates how to match multiple values from two different columns. Both values must match.

Here is the merged list. The COUNTIFS function allows you to match multiple columns.

**Array formula in cell D2:**

This is an array formula. Type the formula in cell D2. Press and hold CTRL + SHFT simultaneously, then press ENTER once. Release all keys. If you did it right, there are now curly brackets before and after the formula.

Copy cell D2 and paste it to D3:D11.

**Explaining array formula in cell D2**

**Step 1 - Check if value in cell B2 matches 'Ex 4 - Sheet2'!$B$2:$B$11 AND if value in cell C2 matches 'Ex 4 - Sheet2'!$C$2:$C$11**

COUNTIFS(B2,'Ex 4 - Sheet2'!$B$2:$B$11,C2,'Ex 4 - Sheet2'!$C$2:$C$11)

becomes

COUNTIFS("B",{"D"; "D"; "**B**"; "**B**"; "C"; "A"; "A"; "A"; "C"; "**B**"},"S",{"**S**"; "M"; "**S**"; "M"; "**S**"; "L"; "**S**"; "M"; "M"; "L"})

and returns {0; 0; 1; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0}

**Step 2 - Find the relative position of 1**

MATCH(1,COUNTIFS(B2,'Ex 4 - Sheet2'!$B$2:$B$11,C2,'Ex 4 - Sheet2'!$C$2:$C$11),0)

becomes

MATCH(1,{0; 0; 1; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0},0)

and returns 3.

**Step 3 - Return a value of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column**

INDEX('Ex 4 - Sheet2'!$A$2:$A$11, MATCH(1, COUNTIFS(B2, 'Ex 4 - Sheet2'!$B$2:$B$11, C2, 'Ex 4 - Sheet2'!$C$2:$C$11), 0))

becomes

INDEX('Ex 4 - Sheet2'!$A$2:$A$11, 3)

and returns "Linaeve"

### Download excel *.xlsx file

### 7 Responses to “Merge lists with criteria”

### Leave a Reply

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**Contact Oscar**

You can contact me through this webpage

Thank you for this, especially for the last example, a really clever use of the COUNTIFS function.

I have to ask, how did you find out that COUNTIFS intially returns its result as an array? Been using it for so long, but I only learned that now.

Oh! You intentionally reversed criteria and criteria range. Sorry I missed that..

Patrick,

Thank you for this, especially for the last example, a really clever use of the COUNTIFS function.Yes, most excel functions can return an array of values.

Thank you Mr. (Oscar)

On this wonderful business

Hi Oscar - You are amazing! I was hoping you might help me. I run a restaurant. I need to do a menu item comparison. Some of the items on my 2014 menu are the same as my 2013 menu, but I also have items from my 2013 menu that are not on 2014's menu. My spreadsheet has the following columns:

Menu

Item Name 2014 2013 2014 2013

Qty Sold Qty Sold Var Net Sales Net Sales Var

I have to run the 2014 report from my point-of sale first, and then the 2013 report second. Then I cut from the 2014 and 2013 reports and paste into the relative columns in the spreadsheet shown above. Because there are items on my 2014 menu that weren't on my 2013 menu, and items on my 2013 menu that weren't on my 2014 menu, when I get to one of those items, I'm constantly having to add rows -- its extremely time consuming. Can you help me with some sort of array formula that will sort this data for me? Thanks - John

Thank you for this article.

Suppose I have three sheets(Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3) containing the daily deposit in a bank with three different branches.

Sheet1

Brach 1

Sl. No Date Name Amount

1 4-May-14 A Banerjee 400

2 5-May-14 S Das 6000

3 2-Jun-14 Rajesh Mahato 4000

Sheet2

Brach 2

Sl. No Date Name Amount

1 23-May-14 Koushik Bag 20300

2 24-May-14 Tapan Roy 30000

3 8-Jun-14 Srikanto Koley 8900

Sheet3

Brach 3

Sl. No Date Name Amount

1 3-Apr-14 S Chandra 700

2 6-Jun-14 Pintu Basu 2000

I want to produce Sheet4 without using any macro.

Sheet4

Sl. No Date Name Amount

1 3-Apr-14 S Chandra 700

2 4-May-14 A Banerjee 400

3 5-May-14 S Das 6000

4 23-May-14 Koushik Bag 20300

5 24-May-14 Tapan Roy 30000

6 2-Jun-14 Rajesh Mahato 4000

7 6-Jun-14 Pintu Basu 2000

8 8-Jun-14 Srikanto Koley 8900

Can it be possible?

Please help.

how do I create a list based on cell values. I have 2 or more series (pic1) and pic2 is the list I want excel to produce.

(pic1) http://s23.postimg.org/ny600047v/Screen_Shot_2016_02_09_at_7_01_21_PM.png

(pic2) http://s23.postimg.org/44tw7aqu3/Screen_Shot_2016_02_09_at_7_01_31_PM.png

In the scenario above, I must make a book consisting of 3 sections: A (20 pages), B (12 pages) and C (8 pages). C pages go into B section, and these go into A section. The number of section changes and the number of pages of a section changes.

How do I get excel to automatically produce a list (similar to pic2) based on values input in pic1?