#### 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.