Are you an Excel user who frequently works with large amounts of data? Have you ever struggled to find a specific piece of information within your spreadsheets? If so, mastering VLOOKUP could be the perfect solution. But what exactly is VLOOKUP, and how can it help you simplify your data management tasks?

If you’re new to Excel, it’s likely that you’ve come across the term “VLOOKUP” before — maybe someone has mentioned it in passing, or you’ve stumbled upon it in a tutorial. Whether you’re using Excel for work or personal projects, VLOOKUP is a valuable tool that can help save you a lot of time and effort.

VLOOKUP is one of the most common Excel search mechanisms that can make it easier to quickly locate key information. However, if you’ve never used the VLOOKUP function before, you probably have a few questions. For instance, what is the VLOOKUP formula? How is VLOOKUP different than the Find tool? Finally, can you use VLOOKUP between two sheets?

In today’s guide, we will answer all of these questions and more. Plus, we will help you learn how to do a VLOOKUP search on your own. But first, let’s look at the basics of the VLOOKUP function:

## What Is VLOOKUP?

VLOOKUP is a function in Microsoft Excel that stands for “vertical lookup.” It is used to search for a specific value in the first column of a table or range of cells, and then return a corresponding value from the same row in a specified column.

Here is the VLOOKUP formula and explanations for each term:

*=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])*

**Lookup_value**– This is the value you want to search for in the first column of the table or range.**Table_array**– This is the range of cells that contains the table of data you want to search in. This should include the column that contains the lookup value and the column you want to return a value from.**Col_index_num**– This is the column index number (starting from 1) in the table_array that contains the value you want to return. For example, if you want to return a value from the third column of the table_array, you would enter 3 as the col_index_num.**Range_lookup**– This is an optional argument that specifies whether to perform an exact or approximate match. If set to TRUE or omitted, VLOOKUP will perform an approximate match (i.e. return the closest match to the lookup value). If set to FALSE, VLOOKUP will perform an exact match (i.e. only return a result if it finds an exact match).

VLOOKUP is a useful function for tasks such as looking up sales figures for a particular product or finding the price of an item based on a corresponding code. That said, you can use VLOOKUP for a wide range of search requirements. It all depends on the kind of data in your spreadsheet and what you want to find.

## How To Use VLOOKUP In Excel

As you can imagine, the hardest part of VLOOKUP is actually entering the formula correctly to find the data you need. Even one misplaced number or letter could mess up the entire process. But don’t worry, VLOOKUP is not that complicated once you get the hang of it.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you use VLOOKUP in Excel:

- Start by selecting the cell where you want to display the result of the VLOOKUP function.
- Type “=VLOOKUP(” in the cell and then select the cell where you want to search for a value. For example, if you want to search for the value “apple,” select the cell that contains “apple.”
- After selecting the cell, type a comma and then specify the range of cells where you want to search for the value. For example, if you want to search for the value in column A of a table that starts in cell A1 and ends in cell B10, you would type “A1:B10,” after the comma.
- Once you specify the range of cells, type the number of the column that contains the value you want to return. For example, if the value you want to return is in the second column of the range you specified, type “2,” after the column range.
- Finally, type “FALSE)” to specify an exact match. This will ensure that the function only returns a result if it finds an exact match for the search value. If you omit this part of the formula, Excel will return the closest match, which may not be what you want.
- Press Enter to see the result of the VLOOKUP function.

Let’s look at the VLOOKUP example outlined in these steps to better understand the process. If you want to search for the value “apple” in a table that starts in cell A1 and ends in cell B10 and return the corresponding value in the second column of the table, you would type the following formula:

*=VLOOKUP(“apple”, A1:B10, 2, FALSE)*

It is important to note that the range of cells you specify should include the column that contains the value you want to return, as well as the column that contains the search value. The search value should be in the first column of the range.

## VLOOKUP From Another Sheet Or File

You can also use VLOOKUP to search for a value in another sheet or file by specifying the sheet or file name in the function. To perform a VLOOKUP across multiple sheets in the same workbook, simply follow these steps:

- In the sheet where you want to perform the VLOOKUP, select the cell where you want to display the result.
- Type “=VLOOKUP(” followed by the value you want to search for in the other sheet. For example, if you want to search for the value “blue” in sheet 2, you would type “=VLOOKUP(“blue”, Sheet2!” in a cell.
- After typing the value you want to search for, add a comma and specify the range of cells where the search should take place.
- After specifying the range of cells, add a comma and indicate which column you want to return the result from.
- Close the parentheses and press Enter.

To perform a VLOOKUP across different workbooks:

- Open both the workbook where you want to perform the VLOOKUP and the workbook where the data is located.
- In the sheet where you want to perform the VLOOKUP, select the cell where you want to display the result.
- Type “=VLOOKUP(” followed by the value you want to search for in the other workbook. For example, if you want to search for the value “blue” in Sheet1 of another workbook named “Data.xlsx”, you would type “=VLOOKUP(“apple”,'[Data.xlsx]Sheet1′!”
- After typing the value to search for, add a comma and specify the range of cells where the search should take place.
- After specifying the range of cells, add a comma and indicate which column you want to return the result from.
- Close the parentheses and press Enter.

Note that in both cases, you can also use cell references instead of typing in the values and ranges manually. This could help save you a lot of time and effort when using VLOOKUP across multiple sources within Excel.

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