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Array formula

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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
All,

A previous question I asked generated a following respons:

Contrary to his statement, ssaqibh's "ARRAY" formula doesn't need to be array-entered to give the correct answer:
=SUM(SUMIFS(Sheet2!$F:$F,Sheet2!$A:$A,{"11020","11030"}))

You could also write it as a SUMIF formula (doesn't need to be array-entered either):
=SUM(SUMIF(Sheet2!$A:$A,{"11020","11030"},Sheet2!$F:$F))

I applied the 1st formual and got my correct response I was shooting for.  I am now curious as to why the expert said this could be entered as an "array" as well, but did not need to, and what an array does for you as opposed to not applying "ctrl,alt,enter", and what is the application to know you need to apply this aspect before you hit the results of the formula.  I guess I'm just wanting a little education on "array formulas".  Are they written different in that they always use the {} symbols in the formula in some way?

Thanks,

Pete
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Some formulas are array formula.  You don't need to press the "ctrl,alt,enter"

Such as sumif, sumifs, sumproduct

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Commented:
when do you need to press "ctrl,alt,enter", and why?  What does it do for you, and what is the formula differences when writing?
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Rob HensonFinance Analyst
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Rory ArchibaldGrand Poobah
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Saqib HusainEngineer
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Rob HensonFinance Analyst
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Commented:
As Rorya states, array formulas are slower.

I used to have a sheet in Excel 2003 in which I had envoked the Conditional Sum Wizard to create a table of Summary values based on multiple criteria, effectively a pivot table but I needed it to update with real time data rather than having to force the refresh each time.

The Conditional Sum Wizard created Array formulae using the =SUM(IF(...)) syntax and used to work but the sheet took AGES to recalculate. In other words the process looked at the IF and if required included the result in the SUM.

In later versions of Excel, I was able to convert it using SUMIFS and it recalc'd so much quicker.
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Commented:
Clears things up tremendously gang.

Thanks for the class.  :-)

Pete

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