Q:

How can you use the Lookup function in Excel?

A:

Quick Answer

Microsoft Excel has two basic lookup formulas available to users: Vlookup and Hlookup. Vlookup is used to look up a value in a large database or to append a column to a table using data from a large database. Hlookup is used similarly to Vlookup, but allows you to accommodate data points arranged horizontally. As of the 2010 version of Excel, the Vlookup function requests four pieces of information from you to execute the lookup formula: lookup value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup].

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Full Answer

  1. Enter the lookup value

    In a basic personal information database, the lookup value is the personal entry you need more information on. For example, you may enter the first or last name of a person in the database as the lookup value. For an inventory database, this may be the product number.

  2. Identify the table array

    The table array is the set of data in which you are looking for the missing information. You are able to identify the table array in the 2010 version of Excel by clicking and dragging around the data set you are searching.

  3. Enter the column index number

    The column index number identifies the column you are seeking information from. In the personal index example, this may be telephone number or address. In the inventory database example this may be a product description or quantity on hand. This is the related information that the lookup formula returns to you.

  4. Decide if you need range lookup

    The range lookup is not required. A range allows you to return data within a given range, plus or minus. This is not applicable in either example. In both a personal information database and an inventory database lookup, you are looking for an exact match. You may enter zero, or leave this entry blank.

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