By Scott Fegette | Wednesday, January 15, 2014
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When looking up information in Microsoft Excel, you’ll regularly need to compare data against a table—and tables can be found in a variety of locations and formats. For example, in the image above you may need to find the appropriate tax rate in the table on the right for a given employee’s salary listed in the table on the left.
On the Formulas tab in the Excel ribbon, you’ll see a categories function called Look up and Reference. The two key functions for this type of task are VLOOKUP (V meaning vertical) and its companion function HLOOKUP (H meaning horizontal).
Why two functions instead of one? As shown in the image below, data tables can be found in horizontal and vertical orientations—so with two dedicated functions, you’re covered either way.
Let’s take a straightforward look at how the HLOOKUP and VLOOKUP functions are written (this graphic shows an HLOOKUP function but the syntax for VLOOKUP is identical).
The four comma-separated parameters you can specify for the HLOOKUP and VLOOKUP functions are:
As you can see, VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP are incredibly helpful functions to know for any data-matching tasks in Excel 2013. For more details on these functions among many others, be sure to watch Dennis Taylor’s course Excel 2013: Advanced Formulas and Functions.
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Tags: Microsoft Excel, Excel, Excel formulas, Excel functions
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