To test if one of several values exists in a range of cells, you can use a formula based on the SUMPRODUCT function. In the example shown, the formula in cell F5 is:


where "rng" is the named range H4:H10 and contains the values to look for.

Generic formula



Each item in rng is compared to each item in values and the result is an array of TRUE or FALSE values.

The double negative will force the TRUE and FALSE values to 1 and 0 respectively. Since SUMPRODUCT receives just one array, it simply adds up the items in the array and returns the result.

Logically, any result greater than zero means that at least one value exists in the range. So, the final step is to evaluate the SUMPRODUCT result to see if its greater than zero. Any result greater than zero returns TRUE, and any result equal to zero returns FALSE.

With hard-coded values

You can also hard code the search values into the formula, using what is known as an "array constant". For example, if you want to look for 3 values: red, cyan, and magenta inside the range H2:H8, you can use:


In the above example {"red","cyan","magenta"} is the array constant, which is one way to supply multiple values in a single argument.

Partial matches or substrings

The formula above tests for equivalency only and will not find partial matches or substrings in the range. If you need to look for substrings, you can use this formula instead.

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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.