# Excel VLOOKUP Function ## Summary

VLOOKUP is an Excel function to lookup and retrieve data from a specific column in table. VLOOKUP supports approximate and exact matching, and wildcards for partial matches. The “V” stands for “vertical”. Lookup values must appear in the first column of the table, with lookup columns to the right.

## Purpose

Lookup a value in a table by matching on the first column

## Return value

The matched value from a table.

## Syntax

=VLOOKUP (value, table, col_index, [range_lookup])

## Arguments

• value – The value to look for in the first column of a table.
• table – The table from which to retrieve a value.
• col_index – The column in the table from which to retrieve a value.
• range_lookup – [optional] TRUE = approximate match (default). FALSE = exact match.

## Usage notes

VLOOKUP searches for a value in the first column of a table. At the match row, it retrieves a value from the specified column.

Use VLOOKUP when lookup values are located in the first column of a table with information organized vertically. Use HLOOKUP when lookup values are located in the first row of a table, and each “record” appears in a new column.

• Range_lookup controls whether value needs to match exactly or not. The default is TRUE = allow non-exact match.
• Set range_lookup to FALSE to require an exact match and TRUE to allow a non-exact match.
• If range_lookup is TRUE (the default setting), a non-exact match will cause the VLOOKUP function to match the nearest value in the table that is still less than value.
• When range_lookup is omitted, the VLOOKUP function will allow a non-exact match, but it will use an exact match if one exists.
• If range_lookup is TRUE (the default setting) make sure that lookup values in the first row of the table are sorted in ascending order. Otherwise, VLOOKUP may return an incorrect or unexpected value.
• If range_lookup is FALSE (require exact match), values in the first column of table do not need to be sorted.

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