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Alice Keeler

Array of Sunshine for Your Google Sheets

Arrays in Google Sheets allow you to more quickly manage lists of data. Array formulas help you to quickly manipulate multiple columns.
Array of Sunshine for Your Google Sheets

Is your Google Sheets experience more like a gloomy day than a sunny afternoon? Drowning in a sea of data and struggling to find meaningful insights? Get ready to bask in the array of sunshine as we unlock the hidden potential in Google Sheets. Say goodbye to tedious manual calculations and hello to automated data analysis that will leave you beaming with efficiency.

Combine first name and last name from 2 columns.

A2:A11 is the array (list) of first names. 

B2:B11 is the array of last names.

Notice these arrays are of the same length.

				
					=ARRAYFORMULA(A2:A10&" "&B2:B10)
				
			

What Are Arrays in Google Sheets, and Why Should They Brighten Your Day?

Imagine a collection of values neatly organized in rows and columns, just like a table – that’s an array. Think of it as a supercharged range of cells that can hold multiple pieces of data. In Google Sheets, arrays can be created manually or generated by formulas, offering a versatile way to work with data.

For teachers, arrays are more than just a spreadsheet feature; they’re a ray of sunshine that can illuminate your data analysis in several ways:

Efficiency:

Arrays allow you to perform calculations on multiple cells simultaneously, eliminating the need for repetitive formulas. No more squinting at tiny numbers!

Data Manipulation:

You can easily filter, sort, and transform data within arrays, making it simpler to gain insights and spot trends. Your data will sparkle with clarity.

Automation:

Automate tasks like grade calculations, data analysis, and report generation, freeing up your time for more meaningful interactions with students. Let arrays do the heavy lifting while you soak up the sun.

Customization:

Tailor array formulas to your specific needs, creating personalized solutions for your classroom data management. Your spreadsheets will shine with your unique touch.

Collaboration:

Share and collaborate on spreadsheets with colleagues, ensuring everyone has access to the latest data and insights. Let your collective knowledge radiate like a sunny day.

A Simple Array

An array is merely a list. When you use the colon to note more than one cell… you are indicating an array. 

				
					=AVERAGE(B2:F2)
				
			

With this formula you are asking Google Sheets to average all the numbers in the range of B2 to F2. 

Flatten an Array

				
					=FLATTEN(A1:B12)
				
			

Converts a range of cells into a single column. Teachers can use FLATTEN to consolidate student responses from multiple columns into a single list, simplifying the review of answers or feedback.

Find Unique Values

				
					=UNIQUE(A5:A)
				
			

Creates a list of unique values within an array. UNIQUE can help teachers create a list of distinct student names or unique project topics chosen by students, avoiding duplicates.

Google Slides Add-on
Randomize Slides

Collects NO User Data

Randomly shuffle slides in a Google Slides™ presentation.

Helpful in classrooms where students collaborate on the same Slides to allow for randomized sharing. 

Array Formulas

ARRAYFORMULA() applies a formula to a range of cells.

				
					=ARRAYFORMULA(A2:A + B2:B)

				
			

What Does the Formula Do?

This formula adds up the numbers in two columns (Column A and Column B) for each row and then puts the results in a new column.

Step-by-Step Explanation

  1. ARRAYFORMULA: This is a special function in Google Sheets that lets you apply a formula to a whole range of cells at once, instead of just one cell.

  2. A2: This part of the formula means “take all the cells in Column A starting from row 2 and going down.” So, if you have numbers in cells A2, A3, A4, and so on, it will use all those numbers.

  3. B2: This part means “take all the cells in Column B starting from row 2 and going down.” Just like with Column A, it will use the numbers in cells B2, B3, B4, and so on.

  4. +: This is the addition operator. It tells Google Sheets to add the numbers from Column A and Column B together for each row.

Putting It All Together

  • Input Columns:

    • Column A: [2, 3, 4]
    • Column B: [5, 6, 7]
  • What Happens:

    • Row 2: 2 (from A2) + 5 (from B2) = 7
    • Row 3: 3 (from A3) + 6 (from B3) = 9
    • Row 4: 4 (from A4) + 7 (from B4) = 11
  • Output Column:

    • New Column (where you put the formula):
      [7, 9, 11]

Why Is It Useful?

Instead of writing separate formulas for each row like =A2+B2, =A3+B3, etc., you can write one formula (=ARRAYFORMULA(A2:A + B2:B)) and it does the work for all the rows at once. This saves time and reduces the chance of errors.

Array Formula with IF

				
					=ARRAYFORMULA(IF(F3:H10<70, "TRUE", "FALSE"))

				
			

In a NEW SET OF CELLS This formula (=ARRAYFORMULA(IF(F3:H10<70, “TRUE”, “FALSE”))) 
checks a range of cells to see if each value is less than 70. If a value is less than 70, it returns “TRUE”; otherwise, it returns “FALSE”. Here’s how it works:

Step-by-Step Breakdown

  1. ARRAYFORMULA:

    • This function allows you to apply a formula to a whole range of cells at once.
    • It means you don’t have to write the formula for each individual cell; it automatically applies it to every cell in the specified range.
  2. IF:

    • The IF function checks a condition and returns one value if the condition is true and another value if the condition is false.
    • In this case, the condition is whether a cell’s value is less than 70.
  3. F3:

    • This specifies the range of cells the formula will check. It includes cells from columns F to H and rows 3 to 10.
  4. <70:

    • This is the condition being checked. The formula looks at each cell in the range F3
       
      to see if the value is less than 70.
  5. “TRUE” and “FALSE”:

    • These are the values that the formula returns based on the condition.
    • If the value in a cell is less than 70, the formula returns “TRUE”.
    • If the value in a cell is 70 or greater, the formula returns “FALSE”.

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Or simply perform record keeping for each student in your class, with each student having a named tab. 

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ARRAY_CONSTRAIN() for Arrays in Google Sheets

				
					=ARRAY_CONSTRAIN(A2:A, 5, 1)
				
			

=ARRAY_CONSTRAIN() limits an array result to a specified size. Teachers can use ARRAY_CONSTRAIN to limit the number of returned results, such as displaying the top five scores from a list of student grades.

ARRAY_CONSTRAIN(input_array, num_rows, num_cols)

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