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Q: How can I look up a value from a list of options in Excel?
A: You can use the VLOOKUP or HLOOKUP function
  VLOOKUP is a powerful function in Microsoft Excel that allows you to look up a value from another spreadsheet - or a smaller subtable (lookup table). We cover the VLOOKUP function in depth in our Microsoft Excel 202 class.

In our class, we begin by creating a simple gradebook for students. This gradebook has students' names and test grades. Our goal with VLOOKUP is to give them a letter grade by looking it up in the subtable.

We'll create a subtable (A8:B13) which will have our grades in it. We'll turn this table into a Named Range (a concept we also cover in this class) called LookupGrades.

Next, we'll use the VLOOKUP function to look up their letter grade from the small subtable. In this particular case, the function would look like this:


F2 is the value that we want to look up (the student's average). The LookupGrades range is defined as a named range - the address of the little table shown. Finally the "2" indicates that we want to return column "2" - or the second column of our little subtable. You can then see all of the student's grades once you AutoFill the formula down the column.

That's it. VLOOKUP is really a pretty easy function to use, once you know how. In class, we'll also cover some more examples of using VLOOKUP - like how to look up a commission rate and bonus payments for sales reps.

We'll also learn about HLOOKUP, which is the horizontal cousin of the VLOOKUP function. We'll use it to calculate a discount on a customer's invoice.

We have a FREE sample lesson available to show you more about VLOOKUP:
  Click here to view the FREE video

And, again, we cover this function completely in our Microsoft Excel 202 class. You will learn through step-by-step video tutorials how to use the VLOOKUP function in detail.

The full cost of this course is only $13.99 for a full one-hour video tutorial covering VLOOKUP plus lots more: Named Ranges, Nested IF Functions, and so much more.

Or, if you need more basic Excel training, we have beginner lessons starting as low as $5.99 for one-hour video tutorials.


By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost
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