How to Use VLOOKUP in Microsoft Excel

Updated May 2024: Stop getting error messages and slow down your system with our optimization tool. Get it now at this link
  1. Download and install the repair tool here.
  2. Let it scan your computer.
  3. The tool will then repair your computer.

VLOOKUP is one of the most useful functions in Excel, and it is also one of the least understood. In this article we demystify VLOOKUP with a concrete example. We will create a useful invoice template for a fictitious company.

VLOOKUP is an Excel function. In this article, we assume that the reader already has a temporary understanding of Excel functions and can use basic functions such as SUM, MEDIUM and CURRENT. In its most common use, VLOOKUP is a database function, which means that it works with database tables – or more simply, with lists of things in an Excel spreadsheet. What kind of things? Well, all kinds of things. You might have a worksheet with a list of employees or products or customers or CDs in your CD collection or stars in the night sky. It doesn’t really matter.

How does VLOOKUP Work?

VLOOKUP is short for “vertical lookup”. In Excel, it is the process of vertically searching for data in a spreadsheet, using the columns in the spreadsheet – and a unique identifier in those columns – as the basis for your search. When you look up your data, it should be listed vertically, regardless of where it is located.

The formula always searches on the right side.

When you perform a VLOOKUP in Excel, you are essentially looking for new data in another spreadsheet that is linked to the old data in your current spreadsheet. When VLOOKUP performs this search, it always looks for new data to the right of your current data.

For example, if one worksheet contains a vertical list of names and another worksheet contains an unorganized list of those names and their email addresses, you can use VLOOKUP to retrieve those email addresses in the order you have them in your first worksheet. These email addresses must be listed in the column to the right of the names in the second table, otherwise Excel will not be able to find them. (Figure … )

The formula needs a unique identifier to retrieve the data.

The secret of how VLOOKUP works? Unique identifiers.

A unique identifier is information that your two data sources have in common and, as its name implies, it is unique (i.e. the identifier is associated with a single record in your database). Unique identifiers include product codes, stockkeeping units (SKUs), and customer contacts.

May 2024 Update:

You can now prevent PC problems by using this tool, such as protecting you against file loss and malware. Additionally, it is a great way to optimize your computer for maximum performance. The program fixes common errors that might occur on Windows systems with ease - no need for hours of troubleshooting when you have the perfect solution at your fingertips:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, Vista – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Download Now

How to Use VLOOKUP in Excel

The basics of using VLOOKUP.

Enter =VLOOKUP() in the formula bar.

In brackets, enter your search value followed by a comma. This can be a real value or an empty cell that contains a value: (H2,

Enter your table or look-up table, the range of data you wish to search and a comma: (H2,B3:F25,

Enter the index number of the column. This is the column that you think contains the answers, and it should be to the right of your search values: (H2,B3:F25,3,

Enter the search value for the range, TRUE or FALSE. TRUE finds partial matches, FALSE finds exact matches. The final formula looks like this: =VLOOKUP(H2,B3:F25,3,FALSE)

Other Notes About VLOOKUP

  • Range_lookup controls whether the value must match exactly or not. The default value is TRUE = allow a non-exact match.
  • Set range_lookup to FALSE to require an exact match and TRUE to allow a non-exact match.
  • If range_lookup is set to TRUE (the default value), a mismatch causes function VLOOKUP to match the closest value in the array, which is always less than the value.
  • If range_lookup is omitted, the VLOOKUP function will allow a mismatch, but will use an exact match if available.
  • If range_lookup has the value TRUE (default), make sure that the search values in the first row of the array are sorted in ascending order. Otherwise, VLOOKUP may return an incorrect or unexpected value.
  • If range_lookup is FALSE (requires exact match), the values in the first column of the array do not need to be sorted.

Expert Tip: This repair tool scans the repositories and replaces corrupt or missing files if none of these methods have worked. It works well in most cases where the problem is due to system corruption. This tool will also optimize your system to maximize performance. It can be downloaded by Clicking Here

Scroll to Top