In Google Sheets I have an array named "Tech_issues" with the following values:

Array name value 1 value 2 value 3 value 4
Tech_issues crash froze glitch error

I'm looking to create a formula in column B that I can use to return value X if the corresponding cell in column A contains one (or more) of the words in the array, for example...

Survey response Tech issue
system crashes way too often X
I encountered an error X
Nice design
Sell more products

There are other arrays and queries I want to use for other columns as well, this is just one example so if I can get this working I can do the rest.

So far I've tried the following but to no avail...

=IF(REGEXMATCH(A2,Tech_issues), "X", "")


=IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH(Tech_issues, A2)),"X","")

=ArrayFormula(REGEXMATCH(A2, JOIN("|",Tech_issues)))


1 Answer 1


This is an array formula that will return all the values or a blank for an entire column.

       A2:A, "(?i)"& JOIN("|", Tech_issues)), 

To return only a single row use,

       A2, "(?i)"& JOIN("|", Tech_issues)), 
  • Tech_issues should be a named range or a reference to a range containing your keywords eg. B2:B10
  • (?i) is prepended to make the regular expression case insensitive.
  • 1
    thanks! This almost got it, but with a bit of tweaking I've got it working perfectly - =INDEX(if(REGEXMATCH(upper(A2),TEXTJOIN("|",1,upper(B2:B10))),"X","")) Apr 5 at 14:22
  • @flipskyrain Sorry typo in original formula. Did it on my phone & made a mistake transferring it. Per INDEX vs. ARRAYFORMULA they are interchangeable here, but I switched to INDEX as suggested since it's shorter. Adding UPPER() twice is longer but not better than case-insensitive regex (?i) which does the same thing. A2 instead of A2:A means a single formula no longer returns multiple results. You'd need an additional formula for each row (changes mean editing all of them). Empty text "" can introduce issues & unnecessary: ISBLANK(IF(0,1,))=true but ISBLANK(IF(0,1,""))=false
    – Blindspots
    Apr 5 at 16:15

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