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# Re: [libreoffice-users] First occurrence of a negative number in a column

```At 22:57 22/01/2013 +0100, Kolbjørn Stuestøl wrote:
```
Is there any way to find the first occurrence of a number less (or greater) than a given number in an unsorted array or a column? Example: A1:A31 contains a list of temperatures a given month. I would like to find the first day the temperature is below 0 degrees (metric).
```
```
What happens if there is no day in the month when the temperature was negative? Let's say you want the value zero for the resulting day number in this case.
```
This is a little messy, but it works:

```
o In B1, enter =A1<0 and fill it down the column to B31. This generates TRUE for your negative values and FALSE otherwise.
```
```
o In your result cell, enter =N(MATCH(TRUE;B1:B31;0)) . The MATCH() function searches for the first TRUE value in the column B values and returns the relative position in the array of the first match. (Note that this is not necessarily the row number, though will be in your example.) This would return the #N/A error if there is no negative temperature; the N() function makes no change to real dates but converts this error to zero.
```
```
You may choose to hide column B, of course - or you could put its values away somewhere else on the sheet or even on a different sheet.
```
```
Incidentally, you are unlikely to get temperatures "below 0 degrees (metric)", as the SI temperature scale is kelvin, and its zero is the absolute zero of temperature! But yes: I appreciate that you mean the celsius scale. ;^)
```
I trust this helps.

Brian Barker

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