Find value in cell from list of values (does cell contain anything in this list) – Google Docs

named range google docs sheets

One of the most useful formulas for me was being able to find if a cell contained a value from a list of items, this excellent Excel formula was exactly what I needed.

The formula: =SUMPRODUCT(–ISNUMBER(SEARCH(things,A1)))>0 also works in Google docs, provided that you created a named range.

Here is the spreadsheet for you to look at:

Feel free to poke around the spreadsheet too! 

Important note: I also included an example of where my named range contained a blank cell, don’t do this – if you do this, the entire formula falls apart and you’ll get bad values.

To create a named range in Google docs, simply highlight your cells and click on the Data menu bar and select Named Ranges:

named range google docs sheets

Then name it appropriately:


How to: Accessing the new Google Docs Spreadsheets

google drive google docs spreadsheets

The new Google Docs spreadsheets are awesome in so many ways, but you might not have access! Sometimes you’ll get a little pop up on the bottom right hand corner, but I didn’t. I couldn’t access the new sheets if my life depended on it, until I started digging around.

If you don’t have access yet (you’ll know if you do because you’ll see the new Add-on menu in the top menu), this is what you need to do:

Step 1: Open up Drive and click on the gear icon top right and click on settings

google drive settings gear icon box

Step 2: Click on the Edit Settings tab and then click on Try the new Google Sheets checkbox. Voila.


That should be it. If you were one of the unfortunate ones scratching your head, this should fix it for you.