How to Use the VLOOKUP Function in Google Sheets

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How to Use the VLOOKUP Function in Google Sheets

In real-life scenarios, such as glancing at a restaurant menu, you often do a vertical lookup search. You’ll look at the pricing of the menu items in another column. The VLOOKUP Sheets function operates in the same way, retrieving data from one column and displaying it in the associated cell.

Don’t worry if it seems a little confusing. This article goes over the VLOOKUP function in depth, covering its syntax and how to use it in spreadsheets. Continue reading to learn how to use this feature of Google Sheets.

What Is VLOOKUP in Google Sheets?

The VLOOKUP formula is a variant of the LOOKUP formula. Vertical is represented by the letter “V.” This formula may search the first column of a provided collection of data. However, the lookup parameters must be in the first column.

When the search criteria is in the first column and you want to look at data in a particular number of columns, we utilize the VLOOKUP function for vertical tables.

How Is VLOOKUP Different From HLOOKUP?

In Google Sheets, HLOOKUP searches for data in a horizontal table. VLOOKUP, on the other hand, discovers data in a vertical table. Because most of us have data in our spreadsheets in a vertical format, VLOOKUP is much more beneficial than HLOOKUP. Aside from that, the parameters utilized in the formulae are the same, thus if you know how HLOOKUP works, you also know how VLOOKUP works. The opposite is also true.

On a similar topic, if you’re comfortable with XLOOKUP in Excel, you should have no trouble utilizing HLOOKUP and VLOOKUP in Google Sheets.

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Things to Know About the VLOOKUP Formula

Before utilizing the VLOOKUP formula in your spreadsheet, you should be aware of the following:

  • The VLOOKUP formula does not search to the left. It simply looks through the first column in the range. If you want to execute a left lookup, instead utilize the INDEX and MATCH formulae. With this combination, you may add AND/OR parameters to the search.
  • In Google Sheets, the VLOOKUP formula is case-insensitive, which means it does not discriminate between capital and lowercase text.
  • If the VLOOKUP formula produces incorrect results, check that the is-sorted option is set to FALSE. This should correct the output.
  • Remember that when the is-sorted argument is set to TRUE, the first column in the range should be in ascending order.
  • VLOOKUP may do a partial match search by employing the operators denoted by question marks (?) or asterisks (*).

Syntax for VLOOKUP

The VLOOKUP function has four arguments, three of which are required and one of which is optional. The function’s syntax is as follows:

=VLOOKUP(key, range, index, is-sorted)

Each of the parameters in the VLOOKUP formula does the following:

  • key: the value that the function searches for in the other column.
  • range: provides the cell ranges to search for data in.
  • index: indicates which column should be searched. The first column is denoted by the number 1. The value must be in the range of 1 to the entire number of columns.
  • is-sorted: an optional parameter that specifies whether or not the range is sorted. If the field is left blank, the value is TRUE by default. If your data is not sorted, you may enter FALSE.
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Examples of VLOOKUP in Google Sheets

Because of some of its subtleties, VLOOKUP may be difficult to use. To help you comprehend the function, below are a few instances of the formula in action.

Performing a Simple VLOOKUP

The VLOOKUP function is most easily used by referring a cell in the first parameter and a range in the second to discover a cell that matches the reference given by the user.

In the next example, we’ll say we need to retrieve Employee 7’s sales data. Although the solution is obvious in such a little spreadsheet, you can image how much time a simple VLOOKUP would save with hundreds of rows of data.

Here’s how to use the VLOOKUP Google Sheets feature to search:

  1. Select an empty cell by clicking it.
  2. Enter the initial half of the function, =VLOOKUP(
  3. Now for the first argument. The cell containing Employee No. 7 in this case is A8.
  4. Type a comma
  5. Enter the following input to specify the cell range. The cell range in the above example is A1:C11.
  6. Type another comma.
  7. Enter the input that specifies which column should be searched. Column 3 is the case in this scenario.
  8. Press Enter.

Nested Function in VLOOKUP

You may utilize a function inside another formula in Google Sheets. This is known as nesting. In this case, we want to find the employee who produced the fewest sales.

Finding that needs the usage of Google Sheets’ MIN function. To do this, we will use the MIN function inside the VLOOKUP formula. Here are the actions you must take to do this:

  1. Select an empty cell by clicking on it.
  2. =VLOOKUP( is the initial half of the formula.
  3. As the first parameter, use the MIN function by typing MIN(. A nested formula does not need an equals sign.
  4. Enter the range to be examined in order to determine the minimal value. In the above example, it is A2:A11.
  5. Close the MIN formula with a closing bracket.
  6. Type a comma.
  7. Enter the formula’s cell range. The range in this case is A1:C11.
  8. Type another comma.
  9. To search, enter the column index number. In the above case, it is 3.
  10. Because the data we have is not sorted, type FALSE for the final parameter.
  11. Close the formula with a closing bracket.
  12. To start the search, press Enter.
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Keep On Searching With the VLOOKUP Function in Google Sheets

The VLOOKUP tool is highly handy, but it cannot always conduct the precise search you want. There are several more search features in Google Sheets, and considerably more throughout the whole Google Apps suite. Continue to study, and you’ll be a Google Apps expert in no time.

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