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# Data validation in Excel - getting the Id, not Name

Posted on 2011-09-27
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Here's what I want to do:
Let's say I have a named range with two columns:

Id     Name
1      One
2      Two
3      Three

For cell A1, I create a data validation of type List, so that the only acceptable values in A1 is One, Two or Three (i.e. any value in the "Name" column)

In cell A2, I make a reference to A1, so that it contains the corresponding Id of the selected value, i.e. 1 for One, 2 for Two, 3 for Three.

Is this possible WITHOUT MACROS? If the solution requires using a dropdown control instead of data validation, that is ok.

Thanks!
/Fredrik
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Question by:gunman69
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Accepted Solution

andrewssd3 earned 500 total points
ID: 36709137
It would be easier if you swapped the columns round in your named range (Name first then Id) so you could use VLOOKUP.  Say the named range is called Valid.  Then just set your validation in cell A1, and in A2 use the formula:
``````=VLOOKUP(\$A\$1,Valid,2,FALSE)
``````

This would only work correctly if the Name values were unique.  If not you would probably have to use a combobox control, which is probably overkill for this.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 36709146
On cell A1 you can use a Data Validation list and on cell A2 you can use a VLOOKUP() function to get the corresponding ID.
0

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Expert Comment

ID: 36709159
But you can also leave the order of the columns and use an Index/Match:

=index(\$C\$1:\$C\$100,Match(A1,\$B\$!:\$B\$100,0))

with ID in column B and Name in column C

cheers, teylyn
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Expert Comment

ID: 36709165
I've attached a sample file for you to check...

jppinto
Data-Validation-VLOOKUP.xlsx
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 36709166
Without changing the data you can use INDEX and MATCH, i.e. in A2

=INDEX(Id,MATCH(A1,Name,0))

where Name refers to the name range and Id to the Id range

regards, barry
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Expert Comment

ID: 36709173
.....or what teylyn said.....:)
0

LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 36709189
This will do what you want without having to switch the columns around.

=INDEX(MyRng,MATCH(A1,I8:I10,0),1)

Kyle
Q-27343319-RevA.xlsx
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Expert Comment

ID: 36709197
oops, sorry:)  Refresh next time:)
0

LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 36709204
@jppinto, the order of the columns is

ID     |   Name

not the other way round. Hence the suggestions for Index/Match.
0

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Expert Comment

ID: 36709256
....or use VLOOKUP without switching the columns...

=VLOOKUP(A1,IF({1,0},Name,Id),2,0)

regards, barry
0

LVL 33

Expert Comment

ID: 36709266
If the order of the columns is "inverted", you can use a "negative" VLOOKUP() function, like I propose here:

http://excel-user.blogspot.com/2011/07/negative-vlookupreturn-value-to-left-of.html

jppinto
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Expert Comment

ID: 36709441
And I thought swapping the columns around was a fairly harmless suggestion....:)
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Expert Comment

ID: 36709702
Barry,
I worry about you sometimes... :)
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LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 36709705
It's a good opening gambit.....!

...on the face of it VLOOKUP is easier to use but there's a case for using INDEX/MATCH even if the columns are the other way round. INDEX/MATCH allows you much greater flexibility, e.g. you can insert a column between Id and Name without causing the formula to fail (not the case with VLOOKUP)....you can see much more quickly which column the values are returned from (rather than having to count 47 columns with some VLOOKUPs) and you could, for instance, much more easily lookup a value in one row and return the value from the row above or below.

regards, barry
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Expert Comment

ID: 36709796
Barry,
I worry about you sometimes... :)

Hello Rory - the doctor says that as long as I keep taking the medication I'll be OK in 10-15 years.....

barry
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Expert Comment

ID: 36709810
Are you supposed to take it with cider though??
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