VLOOKUP function: Description, Usage, Syntax, Examples and Explanation

What is VLOOKUP function in Excel?

VLOOKUP function is one of the lookup and reference functions in Microsoft office Excel that is used when you need to find things in a table or a range by row.

For instance, look up a price of an automotive part by the part number.

In its simplest form, the VLOOKUP function says:

=VLOOKUP(Value you want to look up, range where you want to lookup the value, the column number in the range containing the return value, Exact Match or Approximate Match – indicated as 0/FALSE or 1/TRUE).

Also See:   Group arbitrary text values in Excel

Syntax of VLOOKUP function

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

VLOOKUP formula explanation

There are four pieces of information that you will need in order to build the VLOOKUP syntax:

=VLOOKUP(lookup value, range containing the lookup value, the column number in the range containing the return value, optionally specify TRUE for approximate match or FALSE for an exact match).

  1. The value you want to look up, also called the lookup value.
  2. The range where the lookup value is located. Remember that the lookup value should always be in the first column in the range for VLOOKUP to work correctly. For example, if your lookup value is in cell C2 then your range should start with C.
  3. The column number in the range that contains the return value. For example, if you specify B2: D11 as the range, you should count B as the first column, C as the second, and so on.
  4. Optionally, you can specify TRUE if you want an approximate match or FALSE if you want an exact match of the return value. If you don’t specify anything, the default value will always be TRUE or approximate match.

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