## Extract table headers based on a condition

This article demonstrates an array formula that returns the table header based on a condition. For example, in cell C8 the formula returns A because 1 is found in cell C2 and C4.

The formula in cell C9 returns A because 2 is found once in cell range C3:C5, the condition is in column B.

**Vikas asks:**

i need to extract the headers from a grid based on value in left most column

example

row header ---> a b c d e

data 1 1 2 2 2

2 1 1

1 1 1 2

so how to find out which all headers appear agst 1 or 2o 3 in each row

The following array formula extrcats column headers based

Array formula in cell C8:

### How to create an array formula

- Copy array formula
- Select cell B7
- Paste formula in formula bar
- Press and hold Ctrl + Shift
- Press Enter

### How to copy array formula

- Select cell B7
- Copy cell (not formula)
- Select cell range C7:F7
- Paste (Ctrl +v)

### Explaining array formula in cell C8

**Step 1 - Filter column numbers**

The IF function checks if value in cell B8 is equal to any of the cells in cell range C3:G5.

IF($B8=$C$3:$G$5, COLUMN($C$3:$G$5), "")

IF(*logical_test*,* [value_if_true]*, *[value_if_false]*)

The logical_test is $B8=$C$3:$G$5, it returns TRUE if equal and FALSE if not equal.

IF($B8=$C$3:$G$5, COLUMN($C$3:$G$5), "")

becomes

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

becomes

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

and returns

{1, 2, "", "", "";"", 2, 3, "", "";1, 2, 3, "", ""}

This array tells us that 1 is found in column 1, 2 and 3.

**Step 2 - Calculate the frequencies of the numbers in the array**

The FREQUENCY function allows you to extract only one instance of each header.

FREQUENCY(IF($B8=$C$3:$G$5, COLUMN($C$3:$G$5), ""), COLUMN($C$3:$G$5))

becomes

FREQUENCY({1, 2, "", "", "";"", 2, 3, "", "";1, 2, 3, "", ""}, {1, 2, 3, 4, 5})

and returns

{2;3;2;0;0;0}

If a value in this array is larger than 0 (zero) you know that the corresponding header is found in the cell range.

**Step 3 - Extract unique distinct numbers**

The IF function returns the corresponding column number if a value is larger than 0 (zero).

IF(FREQUENCY(IF($B8=$C$3:$G$5, COLUMN($C$3:$G$5), ""), COLUMN($C$3:$G$5))>0, ROW($A$1:$A$5), "")

becomes

IF({2;3;2;0;0;0}>0, {1; 2; 3; 4; 5}, "")

and returns

{1; 2; 3; ""; ""}

**Step 4 - Return the k-th smallest value**

The SMALL function returns the k-th smallest value in the array. SMALL(*array, k*)

SMALL(IF(FREQUENCY(IF($B8=$C$3:$G$5, COLUMN($C$3:$G$5), ""), COLUMN($C$3:$G$5))>0, MATCH(ROW($C$2:$C$6), ROW($C$2:$C$6)), ""), COLUMN(A1))

becomes

SMALL({1; 2; 3; ""; ""}, 1)

and returns 1.

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

The INDEX function returns a value based on a row and column number.

INDEX($A$1:$E$1, SMALL(IF(FREQUENCY(IF($B8=$C$3:$G$5, COLUMN($C$3:$G$5), ""), COLUMN($C$3:$G$5))>0, MATCH(ROW($C$2:$C$6), ROW($C$2:$C$6)), ""), COLUMN(A1)))

becomes

INDEX($A$1:$E$1, 1)

becomes

INDEX({"A", "B", "C", "D", "E"}, 1)

and returns A in cell B7.

**Step 6 - Return value_if_error if expression is an error and the value of the expression itself otherwise**

The IFERROR function returns a blank (nothing) if an errror is returned.

=IFERROR(INDEX($A$1:$E$1, SMALL(IF(FREQUENCY(IF($B8=$C$3:$G$5, COLUMN($C$3:$G$5), ""), COLUMN($C$3:$G$5))>0, MATCH(ROW($C$2:$C$6), ROW($C$2:$C$6)), ""), COLUMN(A1))), "")

becomes

=IFERROR("A", "")

and returns A in cell C8.

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Is it possible with2 criteria? with intersection table lookup?

Thans in advanced

Azumi

Azumi,

can you explain in greater detail`?

Something Like this (Intersection Tables:

A B C

AA 1 1 2

BB 2 1 2

How to retrieve column headers with this criteria:

1 and AA --> result should be A and B

or

1 and 2 and AA --> result should be A, B and C

Thanks

Hi Oscar, It helped me a great deal.

I was wondering if is it possible to count also how many times 1 exists in each header? please see the link for better understanding my query. Thanks!