Excel VLOOKUP for beginners

Master VLOOKUP in Excel with simple examples

  • 4.3 (108 ratings)
  • 11,902 students enrolled
  • Created by Ajay Tech
  • Last updated 1/2020
  • English


VLOOKUP is probably the most used function in excel. This course does only one thing – Demystify how VLOOKUP works in excel. We cover the following aspects of VLOOKUP.

  • Why use VLOOKUP

VLOOKUP is used to cross-reference data. There are many situations where data in one sheet or tab needs to be cross referenced to extract values out of it. For example, say we’ve 1000 students data during a sheet. We want to find out the grades of 100 students among them. Other than doing this manually, what else can we do ? VLOOKUP is a way to automate this function so that we can extract all the information in one go , automatically using a simple formula.

  • How VLOOKUP works

There is a selected way during which VLOOKUP works. The parameters used in VLOOKUP are confusing initially. This course will make you understand the formula along with the parameters with simple examples and with simple data sets.

  • Approximate vs Exact Match

Sometimes you need to match ranges instead of exact numbers. For example, within the same students data, how would you match grades (like A or B) to absolute numbers ? That’s when approximate match comes in. We will see how to do approximate matches with sales commission numbers.


VLOOKUP stands for Vertical LOOKUP. Although, this is often the foremost used function, Excel also provides functionality to lookup horizontally. Data typically doesn’t tend to this kind of lookup in real life, but nevertheless, we will cover HLOOKUP.

  • SQL Equivalent of VLOOKUP

If you understand SQL, we will look at how VLOOKUP is an equivalent of a particular version of SELECT statement that you will be aware of in SQL. If you have no knowledge of SQL, you can ignore this part.

  • Commonly occurring problems.

N/A error

Number as Text

VLOOKUP works left to right only

Lookup is case insensitive

  • Named Ranges

If you use a particular excel sheet a lot repetitively, using named ranges can be very helpful. We will explore how named ranges can be created and used in VLOOKUP. This makes formulas look less ugly.

  • VLOOKUP in Google Sheets

VLOOKUP functionality is provided in Google sheets as well. In this quick chapter, we’ll look at how to use VLOOKUP in Google Sheets.

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