When you work with data in spreadsheets, it’s often useful to return a value from a given position within a range of data. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this manually. Excel offers an easy function to do exactly this. Let’s learn how to use CHOOSE in Microsoft Excel.
How to Use CHOOSE in Excel
Imagine that you have a list of data contained in a range. For example, the names of eight American states are listed in cells A1:A8. You want to quickly pull the sixth name (value) from this list. Of course, for a simple example like this, it’s easy to simply pick out cell A6 as the sixth value.
But imagine if you needed the 131st value in the range A39:A184. That’s not as easy to identify at a glance, especially as part of a larger formula.
This is where the CHOOSE function comes in. CHOOSE evaluates cells and returns the value found in a given position.
To use CHOOSE in our example, click into any blank cell in your workbook. Then, type an = sign, telling Excel that you’re inputting a formula. Then, type CHOOSE(. So far, your formula is:
Since we want to find the sixth value in the list, type 6, followed by a comma.
Then, you’ll need to list each of the cells to evaluate, completing your formula as:
Hit Enter on your keyboard, and the sixth value will display in the cell:
As you can see, the CHOOSE formula is an easy way to evaluate lists of data in Microsoft Excel. The inputs are quite simple, and the formula works well with large volumes of data.
Try it out next time you need to pull a given value from a certain position in a list or range of data.