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## How to Use VLOOKUP in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you're new to Excel, the VLOOKUP function may seem confusing initially. However, once you understand how it works, you'll realize its power. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the basics of using the VLOOKUP function in Excel with a detailed example.

#### What is the VLOOKUP Function?

The VLOOKUP function, short for "vertical lookup," allows you to look up a value in a table of data based on its position in the table. For instance, if you have a table with employee names and ID numbers, you can use VLOOKUP to find an employee's name based on their ID number.

#### How Does the VLOOKUP Function Work?

The VLOOKUP function takes two arguments: the value to look up and a reference to a table of data. It searches the table for the specified value and returns the corresponding value in an adjacent cell.

#### How to Use the VLOOKUP Function in Excel

Let's go through a step-by-step example of using the VLOOKUP function to find an employee's name based on their ID number.

Step 1: Create a Table of Data

Create a table with employee names and ID numbers. This table will serve as the reference for the VLOOKUP function.

Step 2: Enter the VLOOKUP Function

In the cell where you want the result, type =VLOOKUP( to start the function.

Step 3: Enter the Value to Look Up

Enter the value you want to look up (e.g., the employee ID number).

Step 4: Enter the Reference to the Table of Data

Enter the reference to the table of data (the cell range containing employee names and ID numbers).

Step 5: Enter the Column Index Number

Enter the column index number (the column containing the value you want to return, e.g., 2 for employee names).

Step 6: Enter the Range Lookup

Enter the range lookup. Use FALSE for an exact match or TRUE for an approximate match.

Step 7: Close the Parentheses

Complete the function by typing ) after entering all the arguments.

#### VLOOKUP Examples

Let's look at a few examples:

Example 1: Exact Match

Given the table:

ID Number | Name
1         | John Smith
2         | Jane Doe
3         | Joe Shmo

To find the name of the employee with ID number 2, use:

=VLOOKUP(2, A2:B4, 2, FALSE)

This returns "Jane Doe."

Example 2: Approximate Match

Using the same table, to find the name of the employee with ID number 2 with an approximate match:

=VLOOKUP(2, A2:B4, 2, TRUE)

This also returns "Jane Doe."

Mastering the VLOOKUP function enhances your ability to retrieve specific data from large tables in Excel.