Array Formula doesn't see formula result;  Does it need a value to work?

Posted on 2013-01-10
Last Modified: 2013-01-10
I received help from on a questions last week and the solution was perfect.


My original value in AH$3 changed because I needed to show the name & test # for my list instead of just the name. It showed Brent Van Scoy, but now shows Brent Van Scoy #1
To work around this problem with needing just the name for my array formula, I placed a formula in AH4


 But, it appears it doesn't see the results of my =left formula. It shows the name correctly in AH4 but , array formula doesn't work. I replaced the formula in AH4 with a text value and it works perfect.

Question by:bvanscoy678
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LVL 24

Assisted Solution

Steve earned 100 total points
ID: 38764422
Surely the formula should be


Commas not Semicolons

Author Comment

ID: 38764466
yes, that is correct. The semi colons are the french version of excel. sorry for not switching it.


Author Comment

ID: 38764590
Thinking out loud, but I am wondering if I put an "on change event" to copy and paste special the results of my = left,  then point the array to that cell, it might solve my problem. I am in a meeting for 1 hour, but I'll read up on that once I am out.

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LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 38764591
And I do not belive that you can perform a LEFT (or any Text function eg CONCATENATE etc) on an array formula result. Though I am always amazed at what some people can acheive, so may be proved wrong.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 38764599
If you are using VBA I would just write a function to do what you want.
Can you provide an example file and details of the desired outcome and I am sure we could do a User Defined Function if you would like a VBA solution.

Author Comment

ID: 38765001
Just got back. This worksheet has been stripped down pretty far, but it will show what I am trying to do.

The report page is what will be printed for each employee. Using the drop down menu to choose the employee's name, changes the value in Data!AH3. I use a name range to populate the drop down, which is the employee and their test #.

In Data!AE13 the array formula pointing towards Data!AH4 for the value to look up in the array.

I hope this makes a little sense being stripped down.

LVL 50

Accepted Solution

barry houdini earned 400 total points
ID: 38765484
You probably need a TRIM function otherwise you have a "trailing space" i.e


regards, barry

Author Comment

ID: 38765609
Thanks. Working on the "on change now".

Author Comment

ID: 38765618
I feel pretty stupid. I am trying to figure 6 ways around the problem and it turns out to be a simple thing that screwed up the formula. After I placed the Trim Function, it all works well. I'll have to double check it a few ways, but it appears solved!


Author Closing Comment

ID: 38765633
Thanks for the help!

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