VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, and XLOOKUP Formulas Part 1: VLOOKUP Formula

VLOOKUP is a relatively common Excel function that aims to simplify locating a specific piece of information located within a spreadsheet. For example, if you have a series of insurance policy numbers and the insured individual’s name listed in various cells, VLOOKUP can help you locate information in a specific column instead of scouring through mountains of data manually.

Continue to learn about the capabilities of the VLOOKUP function.


In the term VLOOKUP, the V stands for vertical, so this function performs vertical searches from the left side of the spreadsheet to the right.

The VLOOKUP function looks like this: =VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, column_index, [match_model])

Let’s break down the components of the function.

  • lookup_value: the information you want to locate
  • table_array: the location where you want to look for your information
  • column_index: the number associated with the column from the table_array section
  • [match_mode]: This value should usually be set to 0 if you want the output to populate only if the VLOOKUP feature finds an exact match

We hope this helps you feel comfortable using the VLOOKUP formula in Excel.

For a detailed demonstration from an expert, with exercises, and the most common questions answered, check out our workshop: Mastering Excel Lookup Functions: What Every User Should Know.

If you’d like to learn additional Excel formulas that can make your job easier, quicker, and more accurate, we’ve got you covered!

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