I'm trying to get a unique list of values in a master sheet based on a list of values that appear in column A of other sheets. The tricky part is that every time a new column is added in the master sheet, that will be another new sheet that I have to grab values from. Here's a quick example (very simplified) of the general layout I'll have:


So the idea is that a new copy of a 'List' template will be created a user with new data that needs to be brought into the master sheet, and the name of that new sheet will be added as a column in Sheet1; I don't want to have to update the formula that populated Column A whenever a new list is added as a new column (which is done after a sheet of the same name is created). At that point, the unique values from that new sheet should be added to Column A of Sheet1. Not only must the values be unique in the new sheet, but they have to be unique across all sheets. In the example sheet I provided above, the value 456 appears in List 1 and List 2, but it should only appear once in Sheet1.

I'm familiar with how to reference cells/ranges from other sheets, as well as how to reference another sheet based on a value from another cell, but I don't know how I would necessarily be able to iterate through all the sheets indicated by the column names provided in Sheet1.

  • On your example can you provide a tab with the expected result. Anyway, in case the values of line 1 are always the name of the tab, you can do something like this : =INDIRECT("'"&B1&"'!A:A") where B1 is "List 1" like in your example. not sure if this helps tho.
    – pjmg
    Aug 25, 2019 at 11:21

1 Answer 1

  • paste this script into your spreadsheet:

    function SNAME(option) {
    var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();
    var sheet = ss.getActiveSheet()
    var thisSheet = sheet.getName(); 
    if(option === 0){                  // ACTIVE SHEET NAME =SNAME(0)
    return thisSheet;
    }else if(option === 1){            // ALL SHEET NAMES   =SNAME(1)
    var sheetList = [];
    return sheetList;
    }else if(option === 2){            // SPREADSHEET NAME  =SNAME(2)
    return ss.getName();
    }else{ return "#N/A"; // ERROR MESSAGE }; };

  • paste this formula in Sheet1!B1 cell:



  • paste this formula in Sheet1!B2 cell:

    =IF(B1<>"", INDIRECT(B1&"!A:A"), )


  • paste this formula in Sheet1!A2 cell:

    IF(B2:Z<>"", "♦"&B2:Z, )),,999^99)),,999^99), "♦")))))


  • spreadsheet demo

note: you can add onEdit trigger in order to recalculate the script

  • Thanks! I've learned a lot from your answer. This got me really close. One complication to the situation, though, is that I need to reserve the table contents (B2:Z) for other data I want to pull in. To illustrate what I mean, I created a "Desired output" sheet that should hopefully clear it up. While your solution worked, I'm wondering if there's a way to be able to avoid having to use the contents of the table that this creates just to populate the unique values in Column A. Any thoughts? docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/…
    – JDishman
    Oct 12, 2019 at 2:06

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