# How to use the DROP function

The DROP function removes a given number of rows or columns from a 2D cell range or array.

Dynamic array formula in cell B9:

The DROP function is available to Excel 365 users and is in the "Array manipulation" category.

#### Table of Contents

## 1. DROP Function Syntax

DROP(*array*, *rows*, [*columns*])

## 2. DROP Function Arguments

array |
Required. The source cell range or array. |

rows |
Required. The number of contiguous rows to remove, a negative number removes contiguous rows from the end. |

[columns] |
Optional. The number of contiguous columns to remove, a negative number removes contiguous rows from the end. |

## 3. DROP Function example

The picture above shows how the DROP function removes the two first rows from cell range B2:D5.

Dynamic array formula in cell B9:

### 3.1 Explaining formula

#### Step 1 - DROP function

DROP(*array*, *rows*, [*columns*])

#### Step 2 - Populate arguments

*array - B2:D5*

*rows - 2*

[*columns*] -

#### Step 3 - Evaluate function

DROP(B2:D5, 2)

becomes

DROP({89, 27, 26;

68, 84, 98;

19, 92, 62;

37, 63, 45}, 2)

and returns

{19, 92, 62;

37, 63, 45}

## 4. DROP Function example - remove columns

The image above demonstrates how to remove columns using the DROP function.

Formula in cell B6:

The DROP function removes the two first columns from cell range B2:D5.

## 5. DROP Function example - return rows and columns

The image above demonstrates how to remove both rows and columns using the DROP function.

Formula in cell B9:

DROP(*array*, *rows*, [*columns*])

## 6. DROP Function example - negative values

The DROP function lets you use negative arguments, this means that the function removes rows/columns from the end.

Formula in cell B9:

DROP(*array*, *rows*, [*columns*])

## 7. DROP function error

The DROP function returns a #VALUE! error when no values are displayed.

## 8. DROP function - values in random order

The image above shows a formula that returns values in random order from the two first rows in a 2D cell range.

Dynamic array formula in cell B8:

### 8.1 Explaining formula in cell B8

#### Step 1 - Remove two first rows

DROP(B2:D5, 2)

becomes

DROP({89, 27, 26;

68, 84, 98;

19, 92, 62;

37, 63, 45}, 2)

and returns

{19, 92, 62;

37, 63, 45}.

#### Step 2 - Rearrange values to a single row

The TOROW function rearranges values from a 2D cell range or array to a single row.

TOROW(*array*, [*ignore*], [*scan_by_col*])

TOROW(DROP(B2:D5,2))

becomes

TOROW({19, 92, 62;37, 63, 45})

and returns

{19, 92, 62, 37, 63, 45}.

#### Step 3 - Count cells

The COLUMNS function returns the number of columns in a given cell range or array.

COLUMNS(*array*)

COLUMNS(TOROW(DROP(B2:D5,2)))

becomes

COLUMNS({19, 92, 62, 37, 63, 45})

and returns 6.

#### Step 4 - Count rows

The ROWS function returns the number of rows in a given cell range or array.

ROWS (*array*)

ROWS(DROP(B2:D5,2))

becomes

ROWS({19, 92, 62;37, 63, 45})

and returns 2.

#### Step 5 - Create random decimal numbers

The RANDARRAY function returns a table of random numbers across rows and columns.

RANDARRAY(*[rows]*, [*columns*], [*min*], [*max*], [*whole_number*])

RANDARRAY(,COLUMNS(TOROW(DROP(B2:D5,2))))

becomes

RANDARRAY(,6)

and returns

{0.215398134613085, 0.390607168196479, ... ,0.83231474462401}.

#### Step 6 - Rearrange values in random order

The SORTBY function allows you to sort values from a cell range or array based on a corresponding cell range or array.

SORTBY(*array, by_array1, [sort_order1], [by_array2, sort_order2]*,â€¦)

SORTBY(TOROW(DROP(B2:D5,2)),RANDARRAY(,COLUMNS(DROP(B2:D5,2))))

becomes

SORTBY({19, 92, 62, 37, 63, 45}, {0.215398134613085, 0.390607168196479, ... ,0.83231474462401})

and returns

{19, 92, 62, 37, 63, 45}.

#### Step 7 - Rearrange values to the original array size

The WRAPCOLS function rearranges values from a single row to a 2D cell range based on a given number of values per column.

WRAPCOLS(*vector*,Â *wrap_count*, [*pad_with*])

WRAPCOLS(SORTBY(TOROW(DROP(B2:D5,2)),RANDARRAY(,COLUMNS(TOROW(DROP(B2:D5,2))))),ROWS(DROP(B2:D5,2)))

becomes

WRAPCOLS({19, 92, 62, 37, 63, 45}, ROWS(DROP(B2:D5,2)))

becomes

WRAPCOLS({19, 92, 62, 37, 63, 45}, 2)

and returns

{19, 92, 62; 37, 63, 45}.

#### Step 8 - Shorten formula

The LET function lets you name intermediate calculation results which can shorten formulas considerably and improve performance.

LET(*name1*,Â *name_value1*,Â *calculation_or_name2*, [*name_value2*,Â *calculation_or_name3*...])

WRAPCOLS(SORTBY(TOROW(DROP(B2:D5, 2)), RANDARRAY(, COLUMNS(TOROW(DROP(B2:D5, 2))))), TOROW(DROP(B2:D5, 2)))

becomes

LET(z, DROP(B2:D5, 2), x, TOROW(z), WRAPCOLS(SORTBY(x, RANDARRAY(, COLUMNS(x))), ROWS(z)))

## 9. DROP Function - multiple source ranges

The picture above shows a formula that merges three non-contiguous cell ranges and removes the last column.

Dynamic array formula in cell B9:

### 9.1 Explaining formula

#### Step 1 - Stack values horizontally

The VSTACK function lets you combine cell ranges or arrays, it joins data to the first blank cell at the bottom of a cell range or array (vertical stacking)

VSTACK(*array1*, [*array2*],...)

VSTACK(B3:D6, F3:H6, J3:L6)

becomes

VSTACK({"Peach", 43, 1.03;"Blueberry", 39, 1.48;"Apple", 46, 1.1;"Grapefruit", 14, 0.72}, {"Mandarin", 29, 0.78;"Raspberry", 33, 1.07;"Plum", 25, 0.9;"Mango", 37, 1.13}, {"Pear", 17, 0.63;"Orange", 31, 1.06;"Lime", 17, 1.27;"Kiwi", 45, 0.58})

and returns

{"Peach", 43, 1.03;

"Blueberry", 39, 1.48;

"Apple", 46, 1.1;

"Grapefruit", 14, 0.72;

"Mandarin", 29, 0.78;

"Raspberry", 33, 1.07;

"Plum", 25, 0.9;

"Mango", 37, 1.13;

"Pear", 17, 0.63;

"Orange", 31, 1.06;

"Lime", 17, 1.27;

"Kiwi", 45, 0.58}

#### Step 2 - Remove last column

DROP(VSTACK(B3:D6, F3:H6, J3:L6), , 2)

becomes

DROP({"Peach", 43, 1.03;

"Blueberry", 39, 1.48;

"Apple", 46, 1.1;

"Grapefruit", 14, 0.72;

"Mandarin", 29, 0.78;

"Raspberry", 33, 1.07;

"Plum", 25, 0.9;

"Mango", 37, 1.13;

"Pear", 17, 0.63;

"Orange", 31, 1.06;

"Lime", 17, 1.27;

"Kiwi", 45, 0.58}, , 2)

and returns

{"Peach", 43;

"Blueberry", 39;

"Apple", 46;

"Grapefruit", 14;

"Mandarin", 29;

"Raspberry", 33;

"Plum", 25;

"Mango", 37;

"Pear", 17;

"Orange", 31;

"Lime", 17;

"Kiwi", 45}

## Functions in this article

### Functions in 'Array manipulation' category

The DROP function function is one of many functions in the 'Array manipulation' category.

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