## Extract unique distinct values if adjacent cell is text

**Question:**I want a unique distinct list to be created from a column where an adjacent column has text cell value on the same row?

**Array formula in D3:**

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**How to create an array formula**

- Copy array formula (Ctrl + c)
- Double click cell D2
- Paste array formula (Ctrl + v)
- Press and hold Ctrl + Shift
- Press Enter

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#### Explaining formula in cell D3

**Step 1 - Check if adjacent values are not text values**

The ISTEXT function returns boolean value TRUE if a cell contains a text value and FALSE if not. I am using a cell range as an argument so the function returns an array of bollean values.

They correspond to the input values based on position.

ISTEXT($B$2:$B$17)=FALSE

becomes

ISTEXT({"DD";"VV";0;"EE"; "CC";"DD";"VV";0;"EE";"CC";0; "DD";"VV";0;"EE";"CC"})=FALSE

becomes

{TRUE; TRUE;FALSE;TRUE;TRUE; TRUE;TRUE;FALSE;TRUE; TRUE;FALSE;TRUE;TRUE;FALSE;TRUE;TRUE}=FALSE

We need to know which values are not text values, the array is compared to boolean value FALSE. This will change TRUE to FALSE and FALSE top TRUE, the array becomes:

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

Excel handles FALSE as the same as 0 (zero) and TRUE as 1 or more.

**Step 2 - Check if value is unique**

The COUNTIF function counts values based on a condition or multiple conditions. It has two arguments *range* and *criteria*. The first argument is a cell reference that grows when cell is copied to cell below.

It contains a cell reference with two parts, the first one is absolute and the second is a relative cell reference. The COUNTIF function is most often used to return a single value, however, in this case, we need it to return an array of values that match the relative positions of the cell values.

COUNTIF($D$1:D1, $A$2:$A$17)+(ISTEXT($B$2:$B$17)=FALSE)

becomes

COUNTIF($D$1:D1, $A$2:$A$17)+(ISTEXT($B$2:$B$17)=FALSE)

No values have been displayed yet so the array contains 0 (zeros) , if a value had been 1 or more it would have indicated that the value has been displayed in a cell above the current cell.

{0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0}+(ISTEXT($B$2:$B$17)=FALSE)

becomes

{0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0;0; 0;0;0;0;0;0;0}+{FALSE;FALSE;TRUE; FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;TRUE;FALSE; FALSE;TRUE;FALSE;FALSE; TRUE;FALSE;FALSE}

Adding the two arrays is the same as applying OR logic to the arrays meaning 0 + FALSE = 0, 0 + TRUE = 1, 1+FALSE = 1, 1+1 = 2

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

This array tells us which values that have not yet been displayed and where the adjacent value is a text value.

How to use the COUNTIF function

Counts the number of cells that meet a specific condition.

How to use the COUNTIF function

**Step 3 - Find relative position**

The MATCH function identifies the position of the first cell value that has not yet been shown and where the adjacent value is a text value.

It matches an exact match meaning a value that is exactly equal to 0 (zer0), this is determined by the third argument.

MATCH(0, COUNTIF($D$1:D1, $A$2:$A$17)+(ISTEXT($B$2:$B$17)=FALSE), 0)

becomes

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

and returns 1.

The MATCH function has identified the first value in the array as a unique distyinct value that has an adjacent cell value that contains a text value.

Identify the position of a value in an array.

**Step 4 - Return value**

The INDEX function simply returns a value from a cell range based on a row and column coordinate. The column coordinate is not neccessary since this example has all values in a single column.

INDEX($A$2:$A$17, MATCH(0, COUNTIF($D$1:D1, $A$2:$A$17)+(ISTEXT($B$2:$B$17)=FALSE), 0))

becomes

INDEX($A$2:$A$17, 1)

and returns 12 in cell D3.

Gets a value in a specific cell range based on a row and column number.

How to use the ISTEXT function

The ISTEXT function returns TRUE if value is text. Formula in cell C3: =ISTEXT(B3) Excel Function Syntax ISTEXT(value) Arguments value [โฆ]

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When I try to put the distinct list on another sheet and copy down, it will not work. In downloaded sample there are {} that are at the beginning and the end, but when I copy and past and enter the sheet reference, those brackets go away, and the wheels fall off the bus. Can't figure out how to make it work.

Kevin,

thanks for bringing this post to my attention!

I have simplified the array formula and you will also find instructions on how to create an array formula.

Sir

Im having two excel files.In first file there are ID(column1),data1(column2),data2(column3),..data12(column12)...In second file Im having only ID(column1)(these ID will be present in first file).Now i want to extract the datas for these ID's from the first file.Please help me to get through this problem....because the file size also bigger it is tough to use ctrl+F...

harinishree,

Use the array formula provided here:

https://www.get-digital-help.com/2009/10/25/how-to-return-multiple-values-using-vlookup-in-excel/#multiple

[...] then copy it across and down. This solution was taken from here and slightly altered to suit...... Unique list to be created from a column where an adjacent column has text cell values | Get Digital ... I hope that helps. Good luck. [...]