The Excel Hlookup function 'looks up' a given value in the top row of a data array (or table), and returns the corresponding value from another row of the array.
The syntax of the function is :
Where the function arguments are as follows:
|lookup_value||-||The value that you want to look for, in the first row of the supplied data array|
|table_array||-||The data array or table, containing the data to be searched and the return values.|
|row_index_num||-||The row number, within the supplied array, that you want the corresponding value to be returned from|
|[range_lookup]||-||An optional logical argument, which can be set to TRUE or FALSE, meaning:|
In text-related Hlookups, the lookup_value can contain the following wildcard characters:
Cells A2-F6 of the spreadsheet below, show the exam scores for 5 students in 4 different subjects. If you want to look up a specific score (eg. Biology) for one of the students (eg. Ed), this can be done using the Hlookup function, as shown in cell B10 of the spreadsheet.
In the above example, the Hlookup function searches through the top row of the table_array (the range A2-F2), to find a match for the lookup_value (the name "Ed"). When the the name 'Ed' is found, the function returns the corresponding value from the 5th row of the lookup_table.
This is illustrated in the above spreadsheet on the right. The function finds the name 'Ed' in the top row of the table_array and then returns the value from the 5th row of the table_array.
If we change the name in cell A10 of the spreadsheet from 'Ed' to 'Cara', the Hlookup functions would automatically recalculate the function to display the exam results for Cara.
Cells A1-F3 of the spreadsheet below, show body types relating to body mass index (BMI), for the ranges 0 - 18.4, 18.5 - 24.9, 25.0 - 29.9 and over 30.
Cell C6 shows the user's current BMI, which is 23.5, and cell C7 shows the Hlookup function that is used to look up the body type that relates to this BMI.
The Hlookup function in the above spreadsheet returns the result "Normal Weight", which is the correct body type for a BMI of 23.5.
Note that, in this example, the range_lookup argument is set to TRUE, to tell that function that, if it cannot find an exact match to the supplied lookup_value, it should use the closest match below this value. Therefore, for all BMIs up to and including 18.4 the function would return "Underweight", for all BMIs between 18.5 and 24.9, the function would return "Normal Weight", etc.
For a practical example of the HLOOKUP function being used to create a variable drop-down list, see the Variable Drop-Down List page.
Also, there are further examples on the Microsoft Office website.
If you get an error from the Excel Hlookup function this is likely to be one of the following :
|#REF!||-||Occurs if the supplied row_index_num argument is greater than the number of rows in the supplied table_array|
Also, the following problem is encountered by some users:
You are using the Hlookup function to perform an exact lookup (i.e. with range_lookup set to FALSE) and you know that the value that you want to look up is present in your table_array. However, your Excel HLOOKUP function is returning the #N/A error.
Investigate this problem by checking for equality between the cells that you believe should match.
The data in your selected cells should now be stored as text within Excel and so the Excel Hlookup function should be able to 'look up' the matching value.