How to Do a V-Lookup Statement in Excel

If you are using Microsoft Excel one of the more useful formulas you can use is a V-lookup statement. This can also be one of the more confusing formulas to use until you get the hang of it.? What does a v-lookup statement do?? Here’s an example, let’s say on one sheet you have a list of fifty different employee ID #’s, each ID number is unique.? You then have another Excel spreadsheet which has employee ID numbers, the employee names, and more information.? Let’s say you want to get the names for the fifty employees on your first sheet.? You could manually go and find them on the master sheet, but that will take you some time.? Or you could use a v-lookup.? A v-lookup will find a value from one sheet within another sheet and then you can drop in information associated with that ID from the second sheet onto the first sheet.

A V-lookup statement will look like this:

=vlookup(f5,m7:p37,4,false)

What this means is that we are going to use the value found in cell F5 as the reference value, in the example above this would be someone’s employee ID number.? Next, we tell the formula where we want to search and find this unique ID and in the formula here it would look from cell M7 to P37.? The first component here, M7, needs to be the column that your unique identifier is in, meaning the employee ID number would have to be in column M.? Next, the number 4 is the determinant of which column we are going to grab some data from.? So let’s say column M is employee ID, column N is their address, column O is their age, and column P is their name.? We start with column M and count that as 1…? so by putting the number 4 in here we are telling the formula to return the value that is found in the 4th column (the employee name in this example).? And finally the last item you put is “false” which is standard.

Once you create a v-lookup formula you can easily drag it down.? So if you create the formula once for our example, you can drag it down to all fifty employee ID #’s to get the results returned instantaneously.? The only thing to remember is you may need to use some dollar signs to keep your cells constant in your formula (specifically the range you looking up to).

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