I am using the formula from this question


I am planning to use it for multiple categories. For example the above can a sum of my travel category expenses. I want to sum my entertainment expenses. It will have a formula like


The only difference between these will be the thing in the brackets. It would be great if I could place the array value in a cell like below

   .       C               D
1  | category     | category names    |
2  | travel       | {"Bus";"Train"}   |
3  |entertainment | {"Movie";"Games"} |

And then use my formula like this

=ArrayFormula(sum(sumif(A:A, D2, B:B)))

Same for A:A. I want to do sum every month so the only thing that is going to change will be A1:A100 for first month, A101:A:200 for second month and so on.

So how do I use values from other cells in my formulas?

2 Answers 2


Short answer

Alternative 1

Instead of {"First Value;"Second Value"} write ={"First Value,"Second Value"} in cells D2 and D3 in the example provided in the question.

Then, instead of using a category names reference of the form D2 use the D2:D3 reference form.

Alternative 2

Instead of {"First Value;"Second Value"} write First Value;Second Value in cells D2 and D3 in the example provided in the question.

Then, instead of D2 as the reference in the formula use =SPLIT(D2,";")


  1. When an array in wrote in a cell without a leading formula operator (= or +) it is interpreted by Google Sheets as a string instead as an array.

Alternative 1

  1. As the OP want to put one array in each row, instead of using a row separator, use a column separator.

  2. As the array values are in a 1x2 range the reference to use in the formula should be of the form D2:E2. The formula will be like the following

    =ArrayFormula(sum(sumif(A:A, D2:E2, B:B)))


Use of arrays

Alternative 2

In order to make easier to convert a string to an array it's suggested to remove the enclosing braces and the quotes, otherwise more functions will be required to remove them and will make the spreadsheet more complex and slow.

The formula will be like the following:

=ArrayFormula(sum(sumif(A:A, SPLIT(D2,";"), B:B)))


Use of string


Here is one option for you

=sum(filter(A2:A, match(B2:B, split(D2,";"), 0)))


  • D2 is a ; delimited array, i.e. "movie;video games"
  • split(D2,";") convert D2 to an array: {"movie","video games"}
  • test condition match(B2:B, split(...), 0) checks for B values that is "movie" or "video games"
  • filter(A2:A, match(...)) gives you the corresponding A values based the the test condition
  • sum( filter(...) ), well, you know about it

Note you can't have split() in arrayformula. This appears to be a bug.

Here's an illustration:

enter image description here


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