VLookup Function in Excel 2007-2013

VLookup Function in Excel 2007-2013

 

You can use the VLOOKUP function to search the first column of a range of cells, and then return a value from any cell on the same row of the range. For example, suppose that you have a list of employees contained in the range A2:C10. The employees’ ID numbers are stored in the first column of the range, as shown in the following illustration.

A range of cells on a worksheet

If you know the employee’s ID number, you can use the VLOOKUP function to return either the department or the name of that employee. To obtain the name of employee number 38, you can use the formula =VLOOKUP(38, A2:C10, 3, FALSE). This formula searches for the value 38 in the first column of the range A2:C10, and then returns the value that is contained in the third column of the range and on the same row as the lookup value (“Axel Delgado”).

The V in VLOOKUP stands for vertical. Use VLOOKUP instead of HLOOKUP when your comparison values are located in a column to the left of the data that you want to find.

Syntax

VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])

The VLOOKUP function syntax has the following arguments:

  • lookup_value    Required. The value to search in the first column of the table or range. The lookup_value argument can be a value or a reference. If the value you supply for the lookup_value argument is smaller than the smallest value in the first column of the table_array argument, VLOOKUP returns the #N/A error value.
  • table_array    Required. The range of cells that contains the data. You can use a reference to a range (for example, A2:D8), or a range name. The values in the first column of table_array are the values searched by lookup_value. These values can be text, numbers, or logical values. Uppercase and lowercase text are equivalent.
  • col_index_num    Required. The column number in the table_array argument from which the matching value must be returned. A col_index_num argument of 1 returns the value in the first column in table_array; a col_index_num of 2 returns the value in the second column in table_array, and so on.

If the col_index_num argument is:

  • Less than 1, VLOOKUP returns the #VALUE! error value.
  • Greater than the number of columns in table_array, VLOOKUP returns the #REF! error value.
  • range_lookup    Optional. A logical value that specifies whether you want VLOOKUP to find an exact match or an approximate match:
    • If range_lookup is either TRUE or is omitted, an exact or approximate match is returned. If an exact match is not found, the next largest value that is less than lookup_value is returned.

 Important   If range_lookup is either TRUE or is omitted, the values in the first column of table_array must be placed in ascending sort order; otherwise, VLOOKUP might not return the correct value.

If range_lookup is FALSE, the values in the first column of table_array do not need to be sorted.

  • If the range_lookup argument is FALSE, VLOOKUP will find only an exact match. If there are two or more values in the first column of table_array that match the lookup_value, the first value found is used. If an exact match is not found, the error value #N/A is returned.

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