How to lookup multiple instances of a value

In this article, we will learn How to look up multiple instances of a value in Excel.

Lookup values using the drop down option?

Here we understand how we can look up different results using the INDEX function array formula. Just select the value from the list and the corresponding result will be there.

Generic Formula

{=INDEX(array,SMALL(IF(lookup_value=lookup_value_range,ROW(lookup_value_range)-ROW(first cell of lookup_value_range)+1),ROW(1:1)))}

Array: The range from where you want to fetch data.

lookup_value: Your lookup_value that you want to filter.

lookup_value_range: The range in which you want to filter lookup_value.

The first cell in lookup_value range: if your lookup_value range is $A$5:$A$100 then its $A$5.

Important: Everything should be absolute referenced. lookup_value can be relative according to requirement.

Enter it as an array formula. After writing the formula use CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER key to make it an array formula.

Example of lookup for multiple results

I have this student data in range A2:E14. In cell G1, I have a drop-down of region values e.g. Central, East, North, South, and West. Now I want, whichever region I have in G1, a list of all students from that region should be displayed in the H column.

To look up multiple values in excel, let’s identify our variables.

Array: $C$2:$C$14

lookup_value : $G$1

lookup_value_range : $A$2:$A$14

The first cell of lookup_value range : $A$2

According to the above data, our formula to retrieve multiple values in excel will be :

{=IFERROR(INDEX($C$2:$C$14,SMALL(IF($G$1=$A$2:$A$14,ROW($A$2:$A$14)-ROW($A$2)+1),ROW(1:1))),"No more value")}

This is an array formula. Don't use just Enter after typing the formula. Use CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER together.

Now let’s understand HOW IT WORKS.

Even though the formula may look complex, but the idea is simple. We need to get the index number of each occurrence of value, then retrieve values using the INDEX function of Excel.

Hence the main challenge is getting an array of index numbers of lookup_value. To get index numbers, we used IF and ROW functions. The formula is indeed complex altogether, let’s break it down.

We want to get values from the student column, so our array for INDEX function is $C$2:$C$14.

Now we need to give row numbers from $A$2:$A$14 (lookup value) in which G1’s value exists (for now, let’s say G1 has a central in it).

IF($G$1=$A$2:$A$14,ROW($A$2:$A$14): Now, this part returns row number if a cell countain’s value of G1 (central) in range $A$2:$A$14 else returns FALSE. In this example, it’ll return


Now, since the above array contains row numbers from 1st row (1:1) and we need rows starting from our array (A2:A14). To do so, we use -ROW($A$2)+1 in IF formula. This will return a number of rows before starting our array.

For this example, it is -1. If it was starting from A3, it would return -2 and so on. This number will be subtracted from each number in the array returned by IF. So Finally IF($G$1=$A$2:$A$14,ROW($A$2:$A$14)-ROW($A$2)+1) this will translate to {1;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;6;7;FALSE;FALSE;10;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE}.

Next, this array is surrounded by SMALL function. This function returns the Nth smallest value in the given array. Now, we have SMALL({2;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE;7;8;FALSE;FALSE;11;FALSE;FALSE;FALSE},ROW(1:1)). ROW(1:1) will return 1. Hence, the above function will return 1st smallest value in the array, which is 2.

When you copy this formula in the below cells ROW(1:1) will become ROW(2:2) and it will return the 2nd smallest value in the array, which is 7 and so on. This allows the function to return first found value first. But if you want to get the last found value first then use the LARGE Function instead of SMALL function.

Now using values returned above functions, the INDEX function easily returns each matching value from a range.

You can also perform lookup exact matches using INDEX and MATCH function in Excel. Learn more about How to do Case Sensitive Lookup using INDEX & MATCH function in Excel. You can also look up for the partial matches using the wildcards in Excel.

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  1. This was very helpful! Is it possible to filter on the values that are returned in column H? I am not being able to filter those. Only if I filter on the original data in column C.

    • Thanks Mandeep!

      Of course you can put a normal filter on the column H. But I guess this not what you want. If you are asking for cascading drop downs then this is how you can do it.

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