## Extract unique distinct text values containing string in a range

The formula in cell B10 extracts unique distinct values from cell range B2:d4 that contains the string specified in cell C7.

Array formula in B10:

To enter an array formula, type the formula in a cell then press and hold CTRL + SHIFT simultaneously, now press Enter once. Release all keys.

The formula bar now shows the formula with a beginning and ending curly bracket telling you that you entered the formula successfully. Don't enter the curly brackets yourself.

### Explaining formula in cell B10

#### Step 1 - Identify values containing search string

The SEARCH function returns a number representing the location of a text string in another string.

ISNUMBER(SEARCH($C$7,$B$2:$D$4))

becomes

ISNUMBER(SEARCH("a",{"Apple", "Banana", "Blackberry"; "Orange", "Lemon", "Blood orange"; "Blueberry", "Banana", "Orange"}))

becomes

ISNUMBER({1,2,3;3,#VALUE!,9;#VALUE!,2,3})

and returns

{TRUE,TRUE, TRUE;TRUE, FALSE,TRUE; FALSE,TRUE, TRUE}

#### Step 2 - Keep track of previous values

The COUNTIF function counts values based on a condition or criteria, the first argument contains an expanding cell reference, it grows when the cell is copied to cells below. This makes the formula aware of values displayed in cells above. 0 (zero) indicates values that not yet have been displayed

COUNTIF(B9:$B$9,$B$2:$D$4)=0

becomes

COUNTIF("Unique distinct values", {"Apple", "Banana", "Blackberry";"Orange", "Lemon", "Blood orange";"Blueberry", "Banana", "Orange"})=0

becomes

{0,0,0;0,0,0;0,0,0}=0

and returns

{TRUE,TRUE,TRUE; TRUE,TRUE,TRUE; TRUE,TRUE,TRUE}.

#### Step 3 - Multiply arrays

Both values must be true in order to get the value in a later step.

(COUNTIF(B9:$B$9,$B$2:$D$4)=0)*ISNUMBER(SEARCH($C$7,$B$2:$D$4))

becomes

{TRUE,TRUE,TRUE;TRUE,TRUE,TRUE;TRUE,TRUE,TRUE}* {TRUE,TRUE,TRUE;TRUE,FALSE,TRUE;FALSE,TRUE,TRUE}

and returns

{1,1,1;1,0,1;0,1,1}

#### Step 4 - Replace TRUE with unique number

The IF function returns a unique number if boolean value is TRUE. FALSE returns "" (nothing). The unique number is needed to find the right value in a later step.

IF((COUNTIF(B9:$B$9,$B$2:$D$4)=0)*ISNUMBER(SEARCH($C$7,$B$2:$D$4)),(ROW($B$2:$D$4)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$D$4)+1)))*1,"")

becomes

IF({1,1,1;1,0,1;0,1,1},(ROW($B$2:$D$4)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$D$4)+1)))*1,"")

becomes

IF({1,1,1;1,0,1;0,1,1}, {2.33333333333333, 2.25, 2.2; 3.33333333333333, 3.25, 3.2; 4.33333333333333, 4.25, 4.2}, "")

and returns

{2.33333333333333, 2.25,2.2; 3.33333333333333,"", 3.2;"", 4.25, 4.2}

#### Step 5 - Find smallest value in array

The MIN function returns the smallest number in array ignoring blanks and text values.

MIN(IF((COUNTIF(B9:$B$9,$B$2:$D$4)=0)*ISNUMBER(SEARCH($C$7,$B$2:$D$4)),(ROW($B$2:$D$4)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$D$4)+1)))*1,""))

becomes

MIN({2.33333333333333, 2.25,2.2; 3.33333333333333,"", 3.2;"", 4.25, 4.2})

and returns 2.2.

#### Step 6 - Find corresponding value

IF(MIN(IF((COUNTIF(B9:$B$9,$B$2:$D$4)=0)*ISNUMBER(SEARCH($C$7,$B$2:$D$4)),(ROW($B$2:$D$4)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$D$4)+1)))*1,""))=(ROW($B$2:$D$4)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$D$4)+1)))*1,$B$2:$D$4,"")

becomes

IF(2.2={2.33333333333333, 2.25,2.2; 3.33333333333333,"", 3.2;"", 4.25, 4.2}, $B$2:$D$4, "")

becomes

IF({FALSE,FALSE, TRUE;FALSE, FALSE,FALSE; FALSE,FALSE, FALSE}, $B$2:$D$4, "")

and returns

{"","","Blackberry";"","","";"","",""}

#### Step 7 - Concatenate strings in array

The TEXTJOIN function returns values concatenated ignoring blanks in array.

TEXTJOIN("",TRUE,IF(MIN(IF((COUNTIF(B9:$B$9,$B$2:$D$4)=0)*ISNUMBER(SEARCH($C$7,$B$2:$D$4)),(ROW($B$2:$D$4)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$D$4)+1)))*1,""))=(ROW($B$2:$D$4)+(1/(COLUMN($B$2:$D$4)+1)))*1,$B$2:$D$4,""))

becomes

TEXTJOIN("", TRUE, {"","","Blackberry";"","","";"","",""})

and returns "Blackberry" in cell B10.

### Download Excel *.xlsx

Filter unique distinct text values containing string in a range.xlsx

5 easy ways to extract Unique Distinct Values

First, let me explain the difference between unique values and unique distinct values, it is important you know the difference […]

Extract a unique distinct list from two columns

Question: I have two ranges or lists (List1 and List2) from where I would like to extract a unique distinct […]

Vlookup – Return multiple unique distinct values

Ahmed Ali asks: How to return multiple values using vlookup in excel and removing duplicates? I have tried the formula […]

Create a unique distinct alphabetically sorted list

The array formula in cell D3 extracts unique distinct values sorted A to Z, from column B to column D. […]

Extract a unique distinct list and sum amounts based on a condition

Anura asks: Is it possible to extend this by matching items that meet a criteria? I have a list of […]

Extract a unique distinct list from three columns

Question: How do I extract a unique distinct list from three ranges or lists? The ranges are not necessarily adjacent […]

Extract unique distinct values from a multi-column cell range

Question: I have cell values spanning over several columns and I want to create a unique list from that range. […]

Extract a unique distinct list and remove blanks

Question: How do I create a unique distinct list from a list containing several blanks? Answer: Cell range B3:B12 contains several […]

Extract unique distinct values A to Z from a range and ignore blanks

This is an answer to a question in this blog post: Extract a unique distinct list sorted from A-Z from […]

How to create a unique distinct list based on two conditions

Question: How do I create a unique distinct list where other columns meet two criteria using excel array formula? Answer: […]

### One Response to “Extract unique distinct text values containing string in a range”

### Leave a Reply

### How to comment

**How to add a formula to your comment**

<code>Insert your formula here.</code>

**Convert less than and larger than signs**

Use html character entities instead of less than and larger than signs.

< becomes < and > becomes >

**How to add VBA code to your comment**

[vb 1="vbnet" language=","]

Put your VBA code here.

[/vb]

**How to add a picture to your comment:**

Upload picture to postimage.org or imgur

Paste image link to your comment.

**Contact Oscar**

You can contact me through this contact form

I was working with values in a format like 10 x 20 = 200 , in twenty five values at one time only 5 to 8 values were present others were zero, it helped me a lot ,i extracted required result using = condition now i will have only required result in my sheet.

Thank u very much,God Bless you