I think I might be over-thinking, but since I have no experience with any kind of spreadsheet, I just don't know where else to turn.

What I'm trying to do:


I want a drop-down list and each object in it should have a value, but how do I assign values to them? For example, "Wood" should have the value 4 so I can divide 200(B8) with 4(Wood) to get that sum in the righthand cell.


2 Answers 2


You want to look up the ore-per-fuel ratio for the chosen fuel type. This is usually done with vlookup. Specifically, the formula

=vlookup(C8, A2:C5, 3, False) 

looks up the content of C8 in the cells A2:A5 and returns the matching value from 3rd column of the indicated range (column C). Thus, your formula for Fuel Needed would be

=B8/vlookup(C8, A2:C5, 3, False) 

More generally, whenever you want to have numeric information attached to some text strings, a lookup table can be created and used for this purpose.

  • =B8/vlookup(C8, A2:C5, 3, False) will this work by just copy-pasting it cuz its getting error :( Jan 2, 2016 at 17:04

Alternatively, you could use the if formula. For example,

=if(C8="Wood",8,0) means If the value of C8 (input) is "Wood" then output the number 8. Otherwise, output 0.

To do multiple items, you would use simply add a comma. For example: =if(C8="Wood",8,0),if(c8="Some other Material",1,0),if(c8="Another thing",7,0)

You can also of course combine this with math. =B8*(=if(C8="Wood",8),if(c8="Some other Material",1),if(c8="Another thing",7,0))

Just be careful with your parentheses!

  • 1
    =if(C8="Wood",8,0),if(c8="Some other Material",1,0),if(c8="Another thing",7,0) throws Formula Parse Error. A correct way would be =if(C8="Wood",8,if(c8="Some other Material",1,if(c8="Another thing",7,0)))
    – user79865
    Jan 1, 2016 at 0:23
  • I dont know if this is different for you and for me, but all the , i changed with ; and it worked :P =if(C8="Wood"; 4; 0) otherwise it helped me :) thanks Jan 3, 2016 at 20:09

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