The donut you wish you had not eaten (limbodog) wrote in excel_juice,
The donut you wish you had not eaten


I consider VLOOKUP to be one of the most handy formulas that Excel has to offer. It's a vertical lookup feature that will scan up and down a list for a specific item, and then return something from that row. At first, this may not seem like overly much, but once you start to mix it with buttons and drop down menus, it gets real powerful real fast. It's a great organization tool.

The syntax for VLOOKUP (I'll try to make a point to put all formulas in caps when referring to them in text) is as follows:


So let's say you've got the list below:

You select that range (from Bob to Wigeon) and name it "SEARCH". (easy way to name a range is to select it and type in the name you want in the box above the row number indicators. The default in the box would be a cell like "D1")

Now, if you put a formula in cell D5:
and type "Robert" into cell C5, you will get "Wigeon" in D5. It looks at C5, finds it in "SEARCH" and returns the 3rd column for that row (counting the name as the first)

A nice feature of this is that using a name for the range allows you to very easily perform these searches across multiple sheets.
Tags: name, range, vlookup
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