How to Use Excel Vlookup

By Hunter Taylor

Microsoft Excel has formulas for finance, statistics, and other advanced calculations. However, Excel also has formulas for researching information. When looking for corresponding pieces of information in an array of data, the Excel Vlookup (Vertical Lookup) function makes the task easier and faster. Read on to learn how to use the Excel Vlookup function to locate information.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Excel

Step 1

Create a table with an "Extension" column and a "Name" column. Place the data in columns A (Extensions) and B (Name). In the Extension column, list the extensions in ascending order. The Name column values are not required to be in ascending order.

Step 2

Locate the name that belongs to extension 1060. Go to an empty cell and type the formula exactly as follows: =VLOOKUP(1060,A2:B11,2). The formula is as follows: 1060 is the extension that the name is needed for, A2:B11 is the range of data that contains all of the information, and 2 is the column that contains the list of names. The name that belongs to extension 1060 is David Roberts. The Excel Vlookup formula looked down the Extension column, found extension 1060 then looked across the 1060 row to return the value David Roberts.

Step 3

Locate the name that belongs to extension 1063 using the Excel Vlookup formula.

Step 4

Enter the formula =VLOOKUP(1063,A2:B11,2). When Vlookup is entered correctly, Wendy Oglesby is the value that will be returned.

Tips & Warnings

  • When TRUE is used at the end of the formula, the approximate match in the Extension column can be used. If FALSE is used or omitted, the formula will search for an exact match in the Extension column.
  • Ensure that the column containing the known data is in ascending order; otherwise, the returned value will be incorrect. Double-check the returned value against the data to ensure the formula is entered correctly.