Introduction to CHOOSE function

  • Applies to: Excel for Microsoft 365, Excel for Microsoft 365 for Mac, Excel for the web, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2019 for Mac, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel for Mac 2011, Excel Starter 2010.

This article outlines the formula syntax and usage of the CHOOSE function in Microsoft Excel.


Uses index_num to capture a value from the list of value arguments. Use CHOOSE to pick one of up to 254 values according to the index number. For example, if value1 to value7 are the days of the week, CHOOSE returns one of the days anytime a number between 1 and 7 is used as index_num.

Using the CHOOSE function with dates.
© Danny Rocks, 2010.


CHOOSE(index_num, value1, [value2], …)

The CHOOSE function syntax has the following arguments:

  • Index_num – Required. Confirms which value argument is chosen. Index_num must be a number between 1 and 254, or a formula or reference to a cell including a number between 1 and 254.
    • If index_num is 1, CHOOSE returns value1; if it is 2, CHOOSE returns value2; and so on.
    • If index_num is less than 1 or greater than the number of the last value in the list, CHOOSE yields the #VALUE! error value.
    • If index_num is a fraction, it is truncated to the lowest integer before being applied.
  • Value1, value2, …  –   Value 1 is needed, subsequent values are optional. 1 to 254 value arguments from which CHOOSE picks a value or an action to conduct according to index_num. The arguments can take the form of numbers, cell references, defined names, formulas, functions, or text.


  • If index_num is an array, each value is evaluated when CHOOSE is evaluated.
  • The value arguments to CHOOSE can be range references and also single values. For example, the formula:


evaluates to:


which then returns a value linked to the values in the range B1:B10.

The CHOOSE function is initially evaluated, returning the reference B1:B10. Following this, the SUM function is evaluated using B1:B10, the outcome of the CHOOSE function, as its argument.

Examples of CHOOSE function

Copy the example data in the following table, and paste it in cell A1 of a new Excel worksheet. For formulas to display results, choose them, press F2, and then press Enter. If you must, you can extend the column widths to view all the data.

=CHOOSE(2,A2,A3,A4,A5)Value of the second list argument (value of cell A3)2nd
=CHOOSE(4,B2,B3,B4,B5)Value of the fourth list argument (value of cell B5)Bolts
=CHOOSE(3,”Wide”,115,”world”,8)Value of the third list argumentworld

Example 2 of CHOOSE function

FormulaDescription (Result)Result
=SUM(A2:CHOOSE(2,A3,A4,A5))Sums the range A2:A4. The CHOOSE function returns A4 as the second part of the range for the SUM function.80

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