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I'm attempting to create an ARRAYFORMULA that can extract the first non-blank cell value on each row in a range of columns.

My latest attempt is this:

=TRANSPOSE(QUERY(TRANSPOSE( A2:D6),"select * where Col1 <>'' limit 1",9^99))

Placed in F2, this generates all the output of the range F2:F6 in the table below.

However it's quite evident that all it does it to concatenate all the cells in each column using a space as a delimiter, so the output does not resemble my expected outcome, shown in H2:H6 :-(

I've come up with several other formulas, but the all exhibit the same problem. :-(

┌───────┬───────┬───────┬───────┬───────┬───┬────────────────┬───┬──────────┐
│       │   A   │   B   │   C   │   D   │ E │       F        │ G │    H     │
├───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───┼────────────────┼───┼──────────┤
│   1   │ Input │ Input │ Input │ Input │   │ Formula/Output │   │ Expected │
├───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───┼────────────────┼───┼──────────┤
│   2   │ Test0 │       │ Test1 │       │   │Test0 Test1     │   │ Test0    │
├───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───┼────────────────┼───┼──────────┤
│   3   │       │       │       │       │   │                │   │          │
├───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───┼────────────────┼───┼──────────┤
│   4   │       │       │       │ Test3 │   │   Test3        │   │ Test3    │
├───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───┼────────────────┼───┼──────────┤
│   5   │       │   5   │       │       │   │ 5              │   │ 5        │
├───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───────┼───┼────────────────┼───┼──────────┤
│   6   │       │       │54:74=2│       │   │  54:74=2       │   │ 54:74=2  │
└───────┴───────┴───────┴───────┴───────┴───┴────────────────┴───┴──────────┘

So my question is, how can I make an arrayformula or query that I can place in F2 that will only select the first non-blank value in each row from F2:D6, and output the result to F2:F6?

  • Your question has been edited according to your provided sample image. – marikamitsos Nov 16 at 6:01
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The formula that would give you the desired results would be:

=ArrayFormula(REGEXREPLACE(ARRAYFORMULA(TRANSPOSE(TRIM(SPLIT(CONCATENATE(IF(LEN(B3:H8),B3:H8&"★",)&REPT(" "&"♣︎",COLUMN(B3:H3)=COLUMN(H3))),"♣︎")))),"([^★]+).+","$1"))

It is a bit convoluted but works fine.

  • This is a great answer! It will take me some time to understand it, though. :-) I made a slight variation, so that a range is always provided as input: =ArrayFormula(REGEXREPLACE(ARRAYFORMULA(TRANSPOSE(TRIM(SPLIT(CONCATENATE(IF(LEN(A2:D6), A2:D6&"★",)&REPT(" "&"♣︎",COLUMN(A2:D6)= CELL("col", A2:D6)+COLUMNS(A2:D6)-1)),"♣︎")))),"([^★]+).+","$1")) – fsteff Nov 16 at 7:27
  • I'm really curious. How did you come up with this part of the formula: CONCATENATE(IF(LEN(B3:H8),B3:H8&"★",)&REPT(" "&"♣︎",COLUMN(B3:H3)=COLUMN(H3))),"♣︎") ? Especially the use of IF in combination with CONCATENATE. I guess it's a known pattern, but where can I read more about it? – fsteff Nov 18 at 9:13
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Try

=iferror(QUERY(transpose(A2:D2),"Select Col1 where Col1 is not null limit 1",0),"")

  • Good try, tried it too, Unfortunately it only operates on one column at a time. Even when wrapped in an ARRAYFORMULA() and with the range changed to A2:D6. I updated the question to clarify. – fsteff Nov 15 at 5:01
  • 1
    This may assist webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/97310/… – Tedinoz Nov 15 at 5:59

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