What is the VLOOKUP function?

The VLOOKUP function does a vertical lookup by looking for a value in the table’s first column and returning it in the same row at the index_number location.

The VLOOKUP function is an Excel built-in function, classified as a Lookup / Reference Function. It can be used as a spreadsheet function (WS) in Excel. As a worksheet function, the VLOOKUP function can enter the formula in a cell of a worksheet.

The VLOOKUP function is pretty easy to use once you understand how it works!

For example: If you know the name of a product and want to determine its price quickly, you need to enter the product name in Excel, and VLOOKUP will find the price for you. However, setting up VLOOKUP can look like a dreadful – but not necessary, process for novice Excel users. Just follow our step by step guide on how to use VLOOKUP in Excel today.

How to use VLOOKUP in Excel

Step 1. Click the cell where you want to calculate the VLOOKUP formula.

Step 2. Click “ Formula ” at the top of the screen.

Step 3. Click “ Lookup & Reference ” on the Ribbon.

Step 4. Click “ VLOOKUP ” at the bottom of the drop-down menu.

Step 5. Specify the cell where you will enter the value with the data you are looking for. In this case, our lookup value is H2, since this is where we will enter the name of a tournament, such as “PGA Championship”, so we enter “H2” in the Lookup_value box of the door, pop-up window. Once we have the VLOOKUP set up correctly, Excel will return the Total Rating Value in cell H3 when we enter the tournament name in cell H2.

Step 6. Specify the data you want VLOOKUP to use for its search in the Table_array box. In this case, we have selected the entire table (headers not included).

Step 7. Specify whether you need an exact match by entering FALSE (exact match) or TRUE (approximate match) in the Range_lookup box. In this case, we want the detailed search we enter FALSE.

Step 8 . Click “ OK ” at the bottom of the pop-up window.

Step 9. Enter the value that the data you are looking for. In our example, we want to find the Total Value Rating of the PGA Championship, so we enter “PGA Championship” in cell H2. VLOOKUP automatically generates a Total Value Rating (in this case, 914) in cell H3.

Using VLOOKUP, you not only search for individual values but also combine two worksheets into one. For example, if you have one worksheet with names and numbers and another with names and email addresses, you can put email addresses next to names and phone numbers using VLOOKUP.