Volatile formula's, speeding up calculations and match first and last name in separate columns  to return value from a third.

Posted on 2016-10-28
Last Modified: 2016-10-28
First time posting as I'm struggling with a formula that I thought was pretty good and took me awhile to write, as I'm not exactly an expert with Excel. Anyway I'm not ashamed to say I need the help.

The gist of it is simple, the formula is not. Basically I have a list of locker numbers and employees, and other info but I can alter formulas to suit. What I need to do is rather than concatenate the names I want to, in a separate tab, match the surname in column A and the first name in column B to the list of names with locker numbers,surname in A, first name in B, and return column C with the locker number in to the formula cell, whilst leaving this cell blank for missing info in cells containing no names or locker numbers.

They may have several garments and I need to know the locker number on the sheet for each one so the formula is to be dragged down to find the locker for each employee for all their garments, which will be the same locker number for that employee.

The formula I have wrote I believe is classed as a volatile formula and as such is taking far too long to calculate when I amend one of the connected cells. I know you can turn off the calculate options to populate fields but the people who will be using the spreadsheet won't be as clued up on Excel.

Here is the formula currently in place:

=IF(OR(A2=0,B2=0)," ",IF(LOOKUP(2,1/(('Individual PPE'!A:A='Full Wearer and ID Code List'!A2)*('Individual PPE'!B:B='Full Wearer and ID Code List'!B2)),'Individual PPE'!E:E)=0," ",LOOKUP(2,1/(('Individual PPE'!A:A='Full Wearer and ID Code List'!A2)*('Individual PPE'!B:B='Full Wearer and ID Code List'!B2)),'Individual PPE'!E:E)))

It works as intended apart from slowing the sheet down to a halt when amendmending info.

Can someone please advise a way around this or a rejigged formula that will not be volatile and calculate quicker?

Many thanks in advance.

Question by:Neil Hughes
  • 3
  • 3
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 41863681

Do you really need to calculate it on the whole columns?


Author Comment

by:Neil Hughes
ID: 41863693
Thanks for your reply.

I understand it's easier to hide a column and concatenate the info but this is a sheet I'm putting together to monitor workwear on each site individually within our group. By hiding cells and trying to account for so many different variations across the group i.e. 50 employee's on one site 200 on another, I thought it best to keep all columns visible and allow people to drag down the formula's for additional employees etc as and when they add them or take them off.

By hiding columns and cells required for working out certaain formulas, should something go amiss there's not a visible solution. This is why I wanted a formula in a cell that matches the sets of columns rather than a hidden one with the names concatenated.

I hope this makes sense.

Thank you,
LVL 49

Accepted Solution

Rgonzo1971 earned 500 total points
ID: 41863722
why don't you use 'Individual PPE'!A1:A10000 instead of 'Individual PPE'!A:A
Is Your AD Toolbox Looking More Like a Toybox?

Managing Active Directory can get complicated.  Often, the native tools for managing AD are just not up to the task.  The largest Active Directory installations in the world have relied on one tool to manage their day-to-day administration tasks: Hyena. Start your trial today.


Author Comment

by:Neil Hughes
ID: 41863747
Will that make a difference?
LVL 49

Assisted Solution

Rgonzo1971 earned 500 total points
ID: 41863756
it should since it will reduce significantly the number of calculations Excel has to do
'Individual PPE'!$A$1:$A$10000

Author Comment

by:Neil Hughes
ID: 41863769
Thank you very much for this.

It has effectively reset the speed of calculations to what it is normally, more or less instant.

Appreciate the help. Makes me chuffed to bits that the time I put into that formula isn't wasted too and that it does work, and just needed the final touches adding to it.

Thanks again.


Featured Post

Netscaler Common Configuration How To guides

If you use NetScaler you will want to see these guides. The NetScaler How To Guides show administrators how to get NetScaler up and configured by providing instructions for common scenarios and some not so common ones.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
C++ check and remove last word from a string 5 170
Adjust Mfcapp 29 166
UPD maximums on Red Hat 6 114
How do I set up two external hard drives with Acronis True Image? 12 85
Preface I don't like visual development tools that are supposed to write a program for me. Even if it is Xcode and I can use Interface Builder. Yes, it is a perfect tool and has helped me a lot, mainly, in the beginning, when my programs were small…
Examines three attack vectors, specifically, the different types of malware used in malicious attacks, web application attacks, and finally, network based attacks.  Concludes by examining the means of securing and protecting critical systems and inf…
The goal of this video is to provide viewers with basic examples to understand how to use strings and some functions related to them in the C programming language.
Video by: Grant
The goal of this video is to provide viewers with basic examples to understand and use for-loops in the C programming language.

813 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

16 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now