How to use the VLOOKUP function in Excel

How to use the VLOOKUP function in Excel


VLOOKUP is one of Excel’s most
powerful Lookup functions If your data is organized into vertical columns,
you can use the VLOOKUP function to search for a value in
the first column of your data table and return a corresponding value
from another column The easiest way to understand
this function is to look at an example So let’s get started Here we have a table of data
containing order information We can use VLOOKUP to locate a product
based on a particular Order ID value To get started, let’s begin by entering
the VLOOKUP command As you can see, the VLOOKUP function
takes 4 parameters The first parameter we will enter is the value that we are
trying to locate in the first column of the table In our example, we want to search for
Order ID number 10251 The second parameter we will need to enter is the table
or source of the data VLOOKUP will use The range provided must include
both the first column that will be searched for our first parameter value and the column containing our hopeful result You will provide either a range of cells
or a named range for this parameter For example, we will enter the range A1:B6 The third parameter we must enter is the position
number in the table where the return value can be found A value of 1 indicates the first column in the table,
a value of 2 indicates the second column and so on Since we are looking for the name of a product,
we will enter a 2 which represent cells B1:B6 Finally and most importantly is
VLOOKUP’s fourth parameter This parameter determines whether
an exact match or an approximate match will be done
when looking for the first parameter A value of FALSE means the VLOOKUP is
looking for an exact match A value of TRUE means that an approximate
or close match will be returned Unless you have a specific reason for
looking for an approximate match you should always use FALSE
to return an exact match otherwise the VLOOKUP could return
some unexpected results Now that we have entered all of VLOOKUP’s parameters,
let’s complete the command to examine the result You should see the product name
“Pears” appear “Pears” is the product name that corresponds
to the Order ID number 10251 that we searched for This covers a simple example of how to
use Excel’s VLOOKUP function if you would like to see
more VLOOKUP examples or would like to download
the sample data we used for this tutorial please visit our website at
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6 Replies to “How to use the VLOOKUP function in Excel”

  1. Hey, great video. Wanted to ask does the data in the first column have to be sorted in ascending order? Or does it not matter? Thanks

  2. This was EXTREMELY helpful. THANK YOU! Only thing I would suggest is maybe adding instructions on information for the second parameter from a different excel spreadsheet.

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