## Use VLOOKUP and return multiple values sorted from A to Z

*Article updated on February 14, 2018*

The array formula in column G filters values in column C using a condition in cell E3, comparing it with values in adjacent column B. The filtered values are then sorted from A to Z.

It is possible to build a formula around the VLOOKUP function but it would be big, the following formula is smaller and easier to understand.

**Array formula in cell G3:**

#### Watch a video where I explain the formula

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#### How to enter an array formula

- Double click on cell G3
- Copy and paste above formula to cell G3
- Press and hold CTRL + SHIFT simultaneously
- Press Enter once
- Release all keys

Examine the formula bar and you will see that the formula now has a beginning and ending curly bracket. Don't enter these characters yourself, they appear automatically. Example, {*=array_formula*}

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### Explaining formula in cell G3

#### Step 1 - Sort values in column C

COUNTIF($C$3:$C$10, "<"&$C$3:$C$10)

becomes

COUNTIF({"F"; "S"; "G"; "E"; "B"; "N"; "W"; "A"},{"<F"; "<S"; "<G"; "<E"; "<B"; "<N"; "<W"; "<A"})

and returns

{3;6;4;2;1;5;7;0}

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How to use the COUNTIF function

Counts the number of cells that meet a specific condition.

#### Step 2 - Extract sort rank numbers for chosen category

IF($E$3=$B$3:$B$10, COUNTIF($C$3:$C$10, "<"&$C$3:$C$10), "")

becomes

IF($E$3=$B$3:$B$10, {3;6;4;2;1;5;7;0}, "")

becomes

IF($E$3=$B$3:$B$10, {3;6;4;2;1;5;7;0}, "")

becomes

IF(1={1;2;1;2;1;1;2;2},{3;6;4;2;1;5;7;0},"")

becomes

IF({TRUE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;TRUE;TRUE;FALSE;FALSE},{3;6;4;2;1;5;7;0},"")

and returns

{3;"";4;"";1;5;"";""}

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Checks if a logical expression is met. Returns a specific value if TRUE and another specific value if FALSE.

#### Step 3 - Find k-th smallest value in array

SMALL(IF($E$3=$B$3:$B$10,COUNTIF($C$3:$C$10,"<"&$C$3:$C$10),""),ROWS($A$1:A1))

becomes

SMALL({3;"";4;"";1;5;"";""},ROWS($A$1:A1))

becomes

SMALL({3;"";4;"";1;5;"";""},1)

and returns 1.

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The SMALL function lets you extract a number in a cell range based on how small it is compared to the other numbers in the group.

#### Step 4 - Match sort rank to find relative position

MATCH(SMALL(IF($E$3=$B$3:$B$10, COUNTIF($C$3:$C$10, "<"&$C$3:$C$10), ""),ROWS($A$1:A1)), COUNTIF($C$3:$C$10,"<"&$C$3:$C$10), 0)

becomes

MATCH(1, {3;6;4;2;1;5;7;0}, 0)

and returns 5.

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#### Step 5 - Return values

INDEX($C$3:$C$10,MATCH(SMALL(IF($E$3=$B$3:$B$10,COUNTIF($C$3:$C$10,"<"&$C$3:$C$10),""),ROWS($A$1:A1)),COUNTIF($C$3:$C$10,"<"&$C$3:$C$10),0))

becomes

INDEX($C$3:$C$10,5)

becomes

INDEX({"F";"S";"G";"E";"B";"N";"W";"A"},5)

and returns B in cell G3.

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**Tip!** You can easily filter values if you convert your data to an excel table and then sort them:

Become more productive – Learn Excel Defined Tables

An Excel table allows you to easily sort, filter and sum values in a data set where values are related.

### Download excel *.xlsx file

Use VLOOKUP and return multiple values sorted from A to Z.xlsx

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Question: Hi, The formula here works great but I can't figure out how to change it to work with data […]### 2 Responses to “Use VLOOKUP and return multiple values sorted from A to Z”

### Leave a Reply

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You can contact me through this webpage

Hii Oscar

I have a problem and I know you can help me definitely

"Am your way the great ..." this values with space in one cell (B1)

Is there any formula to seperate all strings in one raw like

C1- Am

C2- your

C3- way

C4- the

C5- great

C6-

C7-

Etc.

Anil

Yes there is but the formula is large:

https://www.get-digital-help.com/2011/03/23/text-to-columns-split-words-in-a-cell-excel-array-formula/

I recommend Rick Rothstein (MVP - Excel)'s formula:

https://www.get-digital-help.com/2011/03/23/text-to-columns-split-words-in-a-cell-excel-array-formula/#comment-52519