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When you want to pull information from a table, the Excel VLOOKUP function is a great solution. The ability to dynamically lookup and retrieve information from a table is a game-changer for many users, and you’ll find VLOOKUP everywhere.
- VLOOKUP is a function to lookup up and retrieve data in a table. The “V” in VLOOKUP stands for vertical, which means the data in the table must be arranged vertically, with data in rows.
- If you have a well structured table, with information arranged vertically, and a column on the left which you can use to match a row, you can probably use VLOOKUP.
- VLOOKUP requires that the table be structured so that lookup values appear in the left-most column. The data you want to retrieve (result values) can appear in any column to the right. When you use VLOOKUP, imagine that every column in the table is numbered, starting from the left. To get a value from a particular column, simply supply the appropriate number as the “column index”.
- VLOOKUP only looks right
- VLOOKUP always finds the first match
- VLOOKUP is not case-sensitive
- VLOOKUP can merge data in different tables
- Inserting a column may break existing VLOOKUP formulas
- You can use ROW or COLUMN to calculate a column index
- In VLOOKUP Numbers as text can cause a match error
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Please let me know if there are any further queries.
The only benefit for a VLOOKUP is its ease of use: its syntax is straightforward. So most intermediate Excel users will know this function and it’s easy to explain to a novice user.
But in the end, I hardly use it.
The combo INDEX-MATCH is much more versatile.
It might be slightly more complicated to master it, but once you know about it and truly understand its power you’ll never look back.
At least that’s my two cents, opinions vary:
To quote Rich Grantham (from http://Excel.tv)
When you are on top, everyone tries to take a shot at you. The VLOOKUP haters are in full force. They are relentless. INDEX-MATCH is faster. It’s sexier. it’s better. It makes a fluffier omelet. Blah, blah, blah.
Anyhow if people would like to use VLOOKUP: please feel free!
Just do not expect me to use it as well.
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Danielle O’Connell already posted the main thing: Save Time! Save Nerves!
You can also use it to test. If a value that you look up is NOT in the lookup array, you will get a NA. That’s great, that’s like a false if you use it right, such as:
Now the following happens:
A) If the value is NOT on the list, you’ll get a NA. The NA will be replaced with the alternative value (‘x’). Now you test if the output is ‘x’ (you can of course use other values for this).
B) If the output is ‘x’, you’ll get a 0 (or any other value you set), which tells you that the tested value is not on the other list.
C) If the return value of the VLOOKUP is NOT NA, the output will be NOT NA, thus, the output value will NOT be the replace value. Thus, 1 is set, and you know that the value is on the other list.
A VLOOKUP can lookup data automatically instead of a person having to do it manually, so time saving is the first benefit that springs to mind. How much time a VLOOKUP can save depends on the amount of time it takes a person to lookup the data manually, how many records are being looked up and whether the lookup function can be re-used to complete the same or similar tasks in the future.
By having the program (Excel) perform the Lookup, rather than a person, the change of an incorrect result due to human error is completely negated. So error reduction would be another benefit.
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Vlookup is one of the most powerful formula of MS-Excel.
It Is basically use to search a result from a huge table.
Now, there are some conditions in VLOOKUP Formula , which we need to understand one by one :-
1. Lookup_ Value– It is the value by using which we search for result. ( In above case roll no. would be our LOOKUP_VALUE)
2. Table_array – It is the main data table from where we are looking to search result.
3. Col_Index_num- Colunm number of search result in the respective table(Main data table) for ex if we want to search Result from the above mentioned table then need to mention 4 as Result is in 4 column.
4. Range_Lookup– Choose exact match if your table in not in range form and if it is in Range form use Approximate match.
Please refer to my video if still some doubts are there : –
Hope it will help you!!
Thanks & Regards
CA Naveen Sharma
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I guess by your question that now that you’ve learned the theory of VLOOKUP, you are lacking an insight into its actual application on Excel, Right?
So instead of typing it all out and making things messy over here, I decided to go offline, make up a 2 or 3-minute video demonstrating a simple VLLOKUP in action, and came back online along with the freshly made video.
Please let me know if this helped you. 🙂
VLOOKUP enables you to create lookup tables in Excel that can map one value to another. For example, if you know which a client’s country, you can figure their currency with a two column table. The first column would be BE, DE, FR, GB, US, CH and the second EUR, EUR, EUR, GBP, USD, CHF.
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