Excel VLOOKUP quick how to reminder

A quick reminder to those who’ve used vlookups before but need a refresher.

A full post on vlookups is coming soon and there will be a link here in due course.

A VLOOKUP enables excel to travel down a desired column until it finds your chosen value and then go along that row to return a cell value in an adjacent column.

See the formula below that will scan column ‘A’ to find the words ‘Totally Cool’ and return what is in column ‘C’…

=VLOOKUP("Totally Cool",A:C,3,FALSE)

Notice the 4 inputs after the bracket separated by commas.

  1. The thing you are wanting to find
  2. The range of cells your VLOOKUP needs to cover (starting from the column ‘Totally Cool’ will be in and ending at least at the column you’re return value comes from)
  3. The number of columns to the right you need to travel to get your return value
  4. Using FALSE tells excel to bring back a result only it finds an exact match for ‘Totally Cool’. If you call use ‘TRUE’ excel will stop at the row with the closest match to ‘Totally Cool’
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