The Ultimate VLOOKUP Guide

In this Ultimate VLOOKUP guide we begin with an introduction to the VLOOKUP function for newbies, and then look at some more advanced examples of its use.

The VLOOKUP function is one of the most commonly used and powerful functions in Excel. It is often misunderstood and can be tricky to use especially if you are not confident with Excel formulas.

There are many reasons people use VLOOKUP. These range from dynamically linking worksheets, to comparing lists for missing items, to improving and speeding up data entry.

Our guide shows you how to combine VLOOKUP with other Excel functions to achieve more powerful searching within a spreadsheet.

  • Introduction to the VLOOKUP Function
  • This introductory VLOOKUP guide shows you when and how to use this function. Understand its anatomy and how to write VLOOKUP formulas to accomplish common spreadsheet tasks.

  • Looking for a Value to the Left (Video)
  • A limitation to the VLOOKUP function is that it can only look down the first column of a table and return data to its right. This tutorial looks at using the INDEX and MATCH functions to return data from a column to the left.

  • Create a Two Way Lookup
  • Used by itself, VLOOKUP will look at the first column of data in a table and bring back a value from another column on the same row. This is a very rigid lookup.

    This VLOOKUP tutorial looks at how to create a two way lookup to look for a value in a column, but also automatically find the column containing the value to return.

  • VLOOKUP with a Conditional Lookup Table
  • If your workbook contains multiple lookup tables, you may want a user to specify which table VLOOKUP should use as the table array.

    This tutorial looks at how you can create a VLOOKUP that uses a table that the user picks from a list.

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  • Create a Multiple Condition Lookup Formula
  • The VLOOKUP function is typically used to search for a record using a unique ID such as a part code, or customer ID. However you may need to match multiple columns to ensure you have found the correct record.

    This special VLOOKUP tutorial will look at how to create a lookup that matches the data in multiple columns.

  • Create a Case Sensitive Lookup Formula
  • The lookup value in the VLOOKUP function is not case sensitive. Learn how to create a case sensitive lookup formula that will find an exact match for the lookup value in the list.

  • Create a Picture Lookup
  • If you have a list containing images such as a product list with a picture in one of the columns, you may want to create a lookup that returns the picture.

  • Find the Cell Address of a Value
  • Looking up a value and returning data relating to it is great. But you may want to return the cell address of the value you are looking for.

  • Compare Two Lists Using VLOOKUP
  • A common Excel task is to compare two lists to find matching or missing records. This tutorial demonstrates using VLOOKUP with the IF function and Conditional Formatting to compare lists.

If you have found this ultimate VLOOKUP guide useful, why not check out more Excel formula tips.

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