The VLOOKUP function in Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to search for a specific value in a table and return a corresponding value from a different column in the same row. The function takes four arguments: the value you want to search for (called the “lookup value”), the range of cells that contains the table you want to search (called the “table array”), the column number in the table array that contains the return value (called the “column index number”), and a logical value that tells Excel whether or not to search for an exact match (called the “range lookup”).
The lookup value is the value you want to search for in the table array. This value can be a number, text, or a cell reference. The table array is the range of cells that contains the table you want to search. This range can be a single column or multiple columns and can include multiple rows. The column index number is the number of the column in the table array that contains the value you want to return. This number is based on the position of the column in the table array, with the first column being 1, the second column being 2, and so on. The range lookup is a logical value that tells Excel whether or not to search for an exact match. If this value is set to TRUE, Excel will look for an approximate match, if set to FALSE, Excel will look for an exact match.
Examples of Vlookup
An example of how to use the VLOOKUP function is as follows: you have a table of data with product codes and prices, and you want to find the price of a specific product. The product codes are in column A and the prices are in column B. You can use the VLOOKUP function to search for the product code in column A and return the corresponding price from column B. The formula would be as follows: =VLOOKUP(A2, A1:B10, 2, FALSE). This formula will look for the value in cell A2 in the range of cells A1:B10, and return the value from the second column (column B) of the same row.
Limitations of Vlookup
VLOOKUP has some limitations, one of them is that it can only look to the right of the lookup column. Therefore, it can only return values from columns to the right of the lookup column and not to the left. Another limitation is that it is case-sensitive, if the table array contains mixed case values, the lookup value must match the case of the value in the table array.
In summary, the VLOOKUP function in Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to search for a specific value in a table and return a corresponding value from a different column in the same row. It is a very useful function when working with large amounts of data and can save a lot of time and effort when trying to find specific information. However, it’s important to be aware of its limitations and workarounds to use it effectively.