Sum up values based on comma separated values that reference a table


New Member
Dec 2, 2014
Hi, I'm new to posting on forums like this so bare with me as I try to explain what I'm attempting to accomplish.

My company has a lab and we run different tests for different samples. I'm trying to find the total time the sample will take to run based on the tests selected. We currently have lists of tests to run listed in a single cell as comma separated values. I have a separate sheet where I have listed each of those tests and the average time for each test to be run. I'd like to return the sum.

Below is how I would do it manually. The formula would be in the "Total Sample Time" column.

Tests to Run
Total Sample Time
Test 1, Test 2, Test 3 = 5+10+12=27
Test 3, Test 4
Test 1, Test 3, Test 4 , Test 5 =5+12+1+15=33


Test Type
Time (min)
Test 15
Test 210
Test 312
Test 41
Test 515


I'm just not sure what type of formula needs to be in the cell to be able to sum up the values from a table based on the comma separated values.

Thanks in advance for your help!


MrExcel MVP
Mar 10, 2004
Assuming that A1:B11 contains the table, try...

B2, confirmed with CONTROL+SHIFT+ENTER, and copied down:

=SUM(IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH(","&$A$7:$A$11&",",","&SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A2)," ,",","),", ",",")&",")),$B$7:$B$11))

Note that the formula allows extra spaces within the text string, such as the text string in A4. Also, note that the SEARCH function is not case-sensitive. For a case-sensitive formula, replace SEARCH with FIND.

Hope this helps!

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