Mastering VLookups in Excel

Amy Lynch – Aug 6th, 2020

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When you want to pull information from a table, the Excel VLOOKUP function is a great solution. The ability to dynamically lookup and retrieve information from a table is a game-changer for many users Excel, and you’ll find VLOOKUP everywhere.

And yet, although the Excel VLOOKUP is a relatively easy to use, there is plenty that can go wrong. One reason is that the VLOOKUP has a major design flaw — by default, it assumes you’re OK with an approximate match. Which you probably aren’t.

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  1. It can only work from Left to right (aka a Left Lookup)
  2. It always finds the first match
  3. It is not case-sensitive (can be with Case Function)
  4. It has two match types (True – Approx, False – Exact)
  5. It uses approximate match by default
    • For approximate matches, data must be sorted
    • You can force VLOOKUP to do an exact match
  6. It allows wildcards for partial matching (* – Wild Card)
  7. You can use it as an alternative to a nested IF statement
  8. It can only handle a single criterion

Microsoft Excel is an extremely critical tool in the world of business, education and home offices, but are you using it as efficiently as possible? Even if you are familiar with Microsoft Excel, the number and variety of keyboard shortcuts you can use to speed up your work may shock you.

If you find yourself constantly reaching for your computer mouse or your laptop’s trackpad, you are slowing yourself down and hobbling your typing speed, costing yourself time and energy in the long run. Learning how to correctly use keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of this time and energy, while boosting your overall productivity. You can find out more about these shortcuts and much more about business, websites and Microsoft Office in our helpful Blog section.

 

If you found this tip on learning about Microsoft Excel helpful, InvestinU offers a range of training supports for Microsoft 365 which can be found here.

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Amy Lynch

Amy is a best-selling Harper Collins author and creates content daily for Irish and US audiences. In addition, she publishes regularly with Image magazine, Easy Parenting magazine, and The Irish Independent newspaper, as well as The Sunday Times, TV Choice magazine, and Woman’s Way magazine. (P.S. She’s Also our in house Content Creator).

Enjoy Your Read!

Amy Lynch

Amy is a best-selling Harper Collins author and creates content daily for Irish and US audiences. In addition, she publishes regularly with Image magazine, Easy Parenting magazine, and The Irish Independent newspaper, as well as The Sunday Times, TV Choice magazine, and Woman’s Way magazine. (P.S. She’s Also our in house Content Creator).