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Create Array of Numbers

We can use the ROW and INDIRECT functions to create an array of numbers, e.g. {1; 2; 3; 4}. The functions are mostly used in array formulas requiring a numeric array for processing. This post provides a guide on how to create array of numbers using the ROW and INDIRECT functions.

Figure 1: How to create array of numbers in excel

Syntax of the formula

{=ROW (INDIRECT (start&”:”&end))}

How the formula works

  • ROW and INDIRECT functions are fundamental when we want to create an array of numbers
  • We need to state the start and end of the array as shown in the example above
  • Then in the result column, in put the formula; =ROW(INDIRECT(start&”:”&end)))
  • Then press “Enter”

Note that if the column length is not long enough, we only get the start value in the array. To get the array, we create another column; “Array result”. Then, take the formula to formula bar, and click the F9 function to get the array results.

Understanding the formula

A string that represents the rows forms the core of this formula. For us to create an array with 5 numbers, we need to hard-core a string into the INDIRECT function. This can be done as below:

=ROW(INDIRECT(“1:5”))

Here, the formula works as:

  • INDIRECT interprets it to mean range 1:5 (5 rows)
  • ROW function returns row number for each row inside the array

Example

Figure 2: Creating an array of numbers in excel

In the example above, we proceed as follows:

  • Specify the start and end data in the sheet. Also indicate where the result should be as well as the array result.
  • In the first row where we have the data, below in the result column, specify the formula, i.e. =ROW(INDIRECT(C2&”:”&D2))
  • Press Enter to get the result for the first row.
  • Use the F9 key to get the array of the data in the “array result ” column

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Solution examples
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