How to Perform VLOOKUP in Excel?

Have difficulty in looking up information in vast Excel spreadsheets? Ask your questions around how to effectively perform a VLOOKUP in Excel.

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VLOOKUP (Vertical Lookup) in Excel is a powerful function used for searching and comparing data in Excel. Follow the steps below to perform a VLOOKUP: 1. Identify the Lookup Value: The first thing you need to know is the specific value you want to look up. This value can be a number, text, logical value, cell reference, etc. The condition here is that the VLOOKUP function can only lookup a value on the same row. 2. Identify the Table Array: The table array is simply the table of data in which data is to be searched. The VLOOKUP function can utilize a single column or multiple columns of data. 3. Identify the Column Index Number: This is the column number in the table from where the matching value must be returned. The first column of the range has a column index number of 1. 4. Range Lookup: It is a logical value that specifies whether you want VLOOKUP to find an exact match (False) or an approximate match (True). Here's an example of how to write a VLOOKUP function in Excel: `=VLOOKUP(Lookup_value, Table_array, Col_index_num, [Range_lookup])` For example, if you have a list of employees with their ID, First Name, and Last Name, and you want to find an employee's First Name based on their ID, this would be your VLOOKUP formula: `=VLOOKUP("E102", A2:C100, 2, FALSE)` In this formula: - "E102" is the Lookup_value, the employee ID you’re searching for. - A2:C100 is the Table_array, the area of cells in which you’re searching. - 2 is the Col_index_num or the column from which the answer (the First Name) will be pulled. - FALSE is the Range_lookup used when you want to find an exact match to the Lookup_value. Remember that VLOOKUP only looks from left to right in a table. If your lookup value is in a column to the right of the value you want to return, consider using the INDEX and MATCH functions instead. For error handling, you can utilize IFERROR(VLOOKUP(), "") which will return an empty string if your VLOOKUP fails to find the value you're searching for. Also, always ensure that your data is sorted properly especially if you're using an approximate match (True or 1 for the last parameter). The nature of approximate match demands data sorting in ascending order for accurate results. By understanding these elements, you should be able to utilize VLOOKUP in Excel effectively.
Answered on August 25, 2023.
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