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CP002: VTALKUP – 5 Excel lookup functions demystified + 4 Resources for you



In the second session of Chandoo.org Podcast, We will be learning how to use 5 Excel lookup functions.

CP002: VTALKUP - Demystifying 5 Excel lookup functions + 4 resources for you

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What is in this session?

In this session, we tackle one of the most important areas of Excel. The lookup functions.

You will learn,

  • Why lookup functions are necessary
  • 5 Important lookup functions in Excel – VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, LOOKUP, MATCH & INDEX
  • When & how to use each of these 5 functions?
  • Extreme scenarios:
    • What happens when the value you are looking up is not there?
    • What if too many items match the lookup value?
    • What if you have too many conditions in the lookup criteria?
  • Using IFERROR function
  • Re-cap of the new powers you acquired
  • 4 Resources for you to learn lookup functions better

Go ahead and listen to the show.

Links & Resources mentioned in this session:

4 Resources to learn lookup functions:

  1. Comprehensive guide to Excel lookup functions
  2. VLOOKUP Cheatsheet
  3. The VLOOKUP Quiz – test your knowledge
  4. Recommended book: The VLOOKUP Book

Example workbook for this podcast:

Click here to download example workbook to play with the ideas mentioned in this podcast.

Other formulas and links mentioned in this podcast:

Special gift for you:

  • Listen to this session to unlock a special gift for you.

Transcript of this session:

Download session transcript [PDF]

Thanks to Jordan

I almost forgot. Special thanks to Jordan (@SpikingWhamos) for suggesting VTALKUP as a name.

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Now its your turn to talk

Do you use lookup formulas in Excel? What do you use them for? Where do you struggle? What new things have you learned about them thru this podcast? Please share your views, suggestions, questions and tips in the comments area below.


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17 Responses to “CP002: VTALKUP – 5 Excel lookup functions demystified + 4 Resources for you”

  1. jraju says:

    Hi, The Second podcast is awesome. I had little knowledge about this particular function. The 45 minutes lecture definitely throws more light, particularly on limitations of vlookup. The usage of False, even when i used , using excel model help example, i did not understand. Now i understand it thoroughly.
    Like wise, usage of hlookup, lookup (sorted data columns),match index lectures are to the point and it is given with practical yellowpage example. Thanks so mcuh.
    The usage of ,0 at the last in match, i will understand by going to the resource link. Thanks, i have sent the links, both mp3 and example book to my friends.

  2. LeonK says:

    Hi Chandoo. Thank you for the podcast. I gave up using LOOKUP after discovering your site and only use Index/Match. However, a lot of my internal clients use LOOKUPS and your podcast has really made me look at these formulas again, allowing me to support them in their formulations instead of trying to teach them Index/Match - regardles of my own opinion.

    May I please ask you a question. In your sample file, both Jason and Stella received $15,000 bonuses but only Jason appears in an index/match table (dashboard summary). How would I show the full range of names sharing the same given criteria and in alphabetical (Sorted) order - without VBA.

    If you can answer this for me I would be very grateful.

    Kind regards,


  3. Sanmaya says:

    hi Chandoo,
    the podcast is very interesting. and examples are really cool.

  4. dan l says:

    And for the 3 people in the universe who have windows phones......heh

  5. […] Chandoo has a podcast now, so you can hear him talk about Excel, while you’re riding the bus to work. His latest show is about Lookup functions. […]

  6. Bhavesh K says:

    Thanks Chandoo!!!

    Went thru 2nd podcast of yours. Learnt alot. Had a different perspective with vlookup earlier, which was very limited in terms of its applicability. Concept of Match and Index got clearer then earlier. Confident now, that i will be able to use the same in my job and enhance my productivity.

    Keep Sharing!!!
    Thanks Again,

  7. Bill Wilson says:

    Suggestion to convert to video podcast +1

  8. Jack says:

    I can't find session 3

  9. Ranveer Singh says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Can you please tell me why do we have =+ when we start any formula??

    • Hui... says:

      That maybe copied from me Ranveer

      I grew up on a spreadsheet called Open Access
      It was a DOS based spreadsheet and way ahead of the rest at the time

      Open Access started Formulas with a + sign and so I still do that
      Excel is happy to accept that and simply adds an = to the front end

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