The Excel VLOOKUP function 'looks up' a given value in the left-hand column of a data array (or table), and returns the corresponding value from another column of the array.
The format of the function is:
where the arguments are as follows:
|lookup_value||-||The value that you want to look for, in the left-hand column of the supplied data array|
|table_array||-||The data array or table, that you want to search the left hand column of, for the supplied lookup_value|
|col_index_num||-||The column number, within the supplied array, that you want the corresponding value to be returned from|
An optional logical argument, which can be set to TRUE or FALSE, meaning :
In text-related Vlookups, the lookup_value can contain the following wildcard characters:
In the spreadsheet below, columns A and B list an inventory of grocery items, and their prices, and cell E2 of the spreadsheet shows a simple example of the Vlookup function being used to look up the price of an item from the inventory.
|1||Item Description||Cost ($)||Current Item:||Current Item Cost ($)|
|2||Tinned Tomatoes||$0.90||Cornflakes||=VLOOKUP( D2, A:B, 2, FALSE )||- returns the value $3.50|
|7||Tinned Baked Beans||$0.99|
|8||White Sliced Bread||$0.80|
The above Vlookup function returns the price for "Cornflakes", which is $3.50.
In this example:
|-||the lookup_value is the text string "Cornflakes", which is located in cell D2|
|-||the table_array is columns A-B of the spreadsheet|
|-||the col_index_num is set to 2, to denote that the value returned should be taken from column 2 of the table_array|
|-||the range_lookup argument is set to FALSE, to indicate that we only want a result to be returned if an exact match to the lookup_value is found|
In the spreadsheet below, columns A-C list the grades that are assigned to examination marks lying within the ranges 0-44%, 45%-54%, etc.
Cell F2 shows the score of 52% that was achieved by the student "Anne" in an examination. The Vlookup function in cell G2 looks up this score in column A of the spreadsheet and returns the associated grade from column C. Note that, in this example, if the exact score of 52% is not found in column A, we want, instead, to use the nearest value below this score.
|2||0%||44%||F||Anne||52%||=VLOOKUP( F2, A2:C7, 3, TRUE )||- returns the value "E"|
The above Vlookup function returns the grade for the score 52%, which is E.
|-||the lookup_value is the value 52%, which is located in cell F2|
|-||the table_array is the range A2-C7 of the spreadsheet|
|-||the col_index_num is set to 3, to denote that the value returned should be taken from column 3 of the table_array|
|-||the range_lookup argument is set to TRUE, to indicate that, if an exact match to the lookup_value is not found, we want to use the closest value below the lookup_value|
For a practical example of the Vlookup function being used to create a variable chart, see the Excel Variable Chart page.
Also, there are several further Vlookup examples on the Microsoft Office website.
Although there is no VBA Vlookup function, you can call the Excel Worksheet Vlookup Function from VBA. See the VBA Vlookup page for more details.
If you get a Vlookup error this is likely to be one of the following :
Occurs if the Vlookup function fails to find a match to the supplied lookup_valueThe cause of this will generally depend on the supplied [range_lookup] argument:
Occurs if either:
Occurs if either: