The VLOOKUP function is similar to the LOOKUP function. The
V in VLOOKUP stands for **vertical**. Like
the LOOKUP function, the whole data must be sorted first before Excel can
return a result. VLOOKUP function is used to search a specified range of
column(s) of a spreadsheet for a value. If the value is found, Excel can now
return data from another cell in the same row with the lookup value.

The syntax for the VLOOKUP function is:

The function takes four arguments:

If the col_index_num argument is:

• Less than 1, VLOOKUP returns the #VALUE! error value.

• Greater than the number of columns in table_array, VLOOKUP returns the #REF! error value.

4.

• If range_lookup is either TRUE or is omitted, an exact or approximate match is returned. If an exact match is not found, the next largest value that is less than lookup_value is returned.

• If range_lookup is either TRUE or is omitted, the values in the first column of table_array must be placed in ascending sort order; otherwise, VLOOKUP might not return the correct value.

• If range_lookup is FALSE, the values in the first column of table_array do not need to be sorted.

• If the range_lookup argument is FALSE, VLOOKUP will find only an exact match. If there are two or more values in the first column of table_array that match the lookup_value, the first value found is used. If an exact match is not found, the error value #N/A is returned.

• When searching number or date values, ensure that the data in the first column of table_array is not stored as text values. In this case, VLOOKUP might return an incorrect or unexpected value.

• If range_lookup is FALSE and lookup_value is text, you can use the wildcard characters — the question mark (?) and asterisk (*) — in lookup_value. A question mark matches any single character; an asterisk matches any sequence of characters. If you want to find an actual question mark or asterisk, type a tilde (~) preceding the character.

For example, using the same worksheet I used to illustrate
the **LOOKUP function, **to find a
worker with ID equal to **JS001**, enter
the following formula in cell B10:

The function should return JOHN, the name that matches the ID,
JS001.

You can also use the LOOKUP function to perform some
calculations. For example:

Using the information contained in the worksheet shown in
the figure below, design a payroll system containing the workers’ details and a
pay slip in the same worksheet. Also calculate the New Salary inside the pay
slip.

Payroll System Using VLOOKUP function |

1. Prepare your worksheet as shown in the figure below.

Layout of Payroll system using VLOOKUP function |

2. Type in the following formula in cell A13 (the yellow cell):

The CONCATENATE function above has 3 arguments:

The first argument is generated by the VLOOKUP function nested in the CONCATENATE and it returns the surname of the worker whose ID is equal to the value entered in cell C9.

The second argument returns a space.

The third argument returns the last name of the worker whose ID is equal to the value entered in cell B9.

The Three returned argument combined together gives the full name of the worker whose ID is entered in cell C9.

3. Type in the following formula in cell C13 (under the FULL NAME column):

The first VLOOKUP function in the formula above returns the salary of the worker whose ID is entered in cell C9.

The second VLOOKUP function returns the value of the 10% salary increment of the same worker.

The sum of the value returned by both function gives the new salary of the worker.

Now let me test your knowledge.

Now repeat the last illustration above, but this time use a separate worksheets of a workbook to prepare workers details table and the pay slip table of the payroll system using the same procedure shown above.

Calculate the New Salary inside the pay slip table.

• Rename the first worksheet to WORKERS_DETAILS and the second worksheet to PAY_SLIP.

• Remember to use absolute cell references as shown previously.

Congrats! You have completed the part 3 of this Excel tutorial.

##
Recommended MS Excel Textbook

##

You now have to go to **Chapter 4 (Store Ledger Accounting in MS Excel)**.

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Labels: Microsoft Excel