In this section, we explain how to use Vlookup in Excel, by describing the Vlookup function syntax and rules of use.
You might find it useful to bookmark this page to refer back to, during later sections of the tutorial.
The following two sections of the tutorial provide practical examples of the Vlookup function to help you to put this information to use.
where the function arguments are:
|lookup_value||-||The value that you want to search for|
|table_array||-||The array of data, that is to be searched for the lookup value. The Vlookup function searches in the left-most column of the table_array|
|col_index_num||-||The column number of the supplied table_array, that you want to return a value from|
|[range_lookup]||-||An optional logical argument, which can be set to TRUE or FALSE, meaning:|
|If the [range_lookup] value is omitted, it takes the default value of TRUE.|
A reminder of the Vlookup syntax, in the form of a handy Vlookup Quick Reference Card, can be printed from the Microsoft Office website.
It is important that you understand the following rules when using the Vlookup function in Excel:
Rules for the Vlookup Using an Exact Match
If the [range_lookup] argument is set to FALSE, the Vlookup searches for an exact match to the lookup_value. If an exact match is not found, the function returns the #N/A error.
In this case, the following rules apply:
Rules for the Vlookup Using the Closest Match
If the [range_lookup] argument is set to TRUE (or omitted), the lookup_value is matched to the closest value below or equal to this value.
Therefore, if the [range_lookup] argument is TRUE, the following rules apply:
The next two sections of the Vlookup tutorial give examples of two Vlookups, in which the [range_lookup] argument is set to FALSE and then to TRUE.