To put it simply, VLOOKUP will allow you to find specific information in any spreadsheet that you create. If you have a list of products with prices next to them, this tool will allow you to find a specific product rather than having to go through the entire list. This makes your work much easier.
How to use VLOOKUP:
1. Decide what you want to look up.
If you have a list of items/events/locations or whatever else, choose a specific item that you want to find. For example, if you have a list of items, say you want to find the word ‘Ice cream cone’ so that you can view the price of it.
2. Create the formula.
You can add the formula to any blank cell. Start with an equal sign (=) and then type the formula name (VLOOKUP). Any item that you will want to look up will have to be in parentheses after the formula name.
So, the formula will look like =VLOOKUP(
3. Add in the arguments for the items you want to search.
The item you want to look up is commonly called an ‘argument’. This argument will tell VLOOKUP what you are searching for. So, if you are looking up the price of an ice cream cone, then you will have to put it in double quotation marks in the formula.
The formula will look like =VLOOKUP(“Ice cream cone”
You will also need to add the cell range that contains the data. In a more complex spreadsheet, this will allow VLOOKUP to search more effectively. Pretend that the ice cream cone is located in A5:B20 on the spreadsheet.
Now the formula will look like =VLOOKUP(“Ice cream cone”, A5:B20
The next argument that needs to be added is the column index number. The first column in the range is 1, and the second column is 2, etc. It is very straightforward. If you are trying to find the price of the item, then you know that this information is located in the second column of the spreadsheet. So, you will put the number 2 into the formula.
Now the formula will look like =VLOOKUP(“Ice cream cone”, A5:B20, 2
There is one last argument to add! This will tell VLOOKUP whether it should look for approximate matches, which is normally only used for numerical values that have been sorted. In this case, we will be looking for exact matches, so the answer will be FALSE.
Finally, the formula will look like =VLOOKUP(“Ice cream cone”, A5:B20, 2, FALSE)
4. Get your results.
Finally, press enter. You should see the result “$2.99” for the price of an ice cream cone.
This can be a bit tricky at first, but after awhile, you will begin to get used to it. Once you have the basic formula on the spreadsheet, you can manipulate it as you please to quickly get results. VLOOKUP makes it much easier to navigate complex spreadsheets, and being able to use this formula will help you find the results you need right away. VLOOKUP will definitely make your work easier and will give you a useful tool that you can rely on at any time.