I often tell my excel school students that learning VLOOKUP formulas will change your basic approach towards data. You will suddenly feel that you have discovered a superman cape in your attic. It is that awesome.
What does VLOOKUP really do?
Imagine you have a list of data like this:
Now, how do you answer the question – “How many sales did Jimmy make?”
Yes, your guess is right. VLOOKUP is one of the formulas you can use to answer questions like this.
VLOOKUP searches a list for a value in left most column and returns corresponding value from adjacent columns.
So, in our case, we need VLOOKUP to search for Jimmy and return the amount of sales he made from column 3.
VLOOKUP Syntax & Examples:
The syntax of VLOOKUP is simple:
=VLOOKUP( this value, your data table, column number, optional is your table sorted?)
Here is an example to get you started:
What is VLOOKUP & How to use it – Video
Check out this quick video to understand how to use VLOOKUP, how to use INDEX + MATCH functions, how to handle errors with VLOOKUP.
VLOOKUP Examples & Homework
I have made a small excel file detailing 4 VLOOKUP formula examples. The file also contains some home work so that you can practice this formula.
More information on VLOOKUP formula
- VLOOKUP Syntax & Uses – index card
- VLOOKUP formula – using it, examples & advanced uses
- Range lookup – finding the corresponding range for a value
- … more VLOOKUP tricks, examples & downloads