# How to use Excel MATCH Function

This Excel tutorial explains how to use the **MATCH function** with syntax and examples.

## Excel **MATCH ****function **Description

MATCH is an Excel function used to locate the position of a lookup value in a row, column, or table. MATCH supports approximate and exact matching, and wildcards (* ?) for partial matches. Often, the INDEX function is combined with MATCH to retrieve the value at the position returned by MATCH.

#### Basic exact match example

**Explanation: **When match type is set to zero, MATCH performs an exact match. In the example above; the formula in E3 is:** ** MATCH(E2,B3:B11,)

### Return

### Syntax

### Arguments

**lookup_value**– The value to match in lookup_array.**lookup_array**– A range of cells or an array reference.**match_type**– [optional] How to match, specified as -1, 0, or 1. Default is 1.

**Note: Match type information**

- If
**match_type**is 1, MATCH finds the largest value that is less than or equal to**lookup_value**. The**lookup_array**must be sorted in ascending order. - If
**match_type**is 0, MATCH finds the first value exactly equal to**lookup_value**.**lookup_array**does not need to be sorted. - If
**match_type**is -1, MATCH finds the smallest value that is greater than or equal to**lookup_value**. The**lookup_array**must be sorted in descending order. - If
**match_type**is omitted, it is assumed to be 1. - Note: All match types will find an exact match.

### Basic approximate match

**Explanation:** When match type is set to 1, MATCH will perform an approximate match on values sorted A-Z, finding the largest value less than or equal to the lookup value. In the example shown below, the formula in E3 is:

### Basic wildcard match

**Explanation:** When match type is set to zero, MATCH can perform a match using wildcards. In the example shown below, the formula in E3 is: MATCH(E2,B3:B11,)

This is equivalent to:

MATCH("pq*",B3:B11,)