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Your Guide on Using the Excel LOOKUP Function

Excel’s LOOKUP function allows users to do a cross-match in a single row or column after which a matching value is returned from a different row or column. The reason for using the LOOKUP function in excel is to “look up” certain values in a one-column or row range.

LOOKUP Syntax 1 (Formula)

=LOOKUP(lookup_ value, lookup_range, [result_range])

Here, the LOOKUP function performs a search for one value in the look_up range and returns the corresponding value in the result_range that appears in the same one-row or one-column.

What each parameter/argument means

Lookup_value refers to the value we’re searching for in the lookup_range.

Lookup_range refers to one-column or one-row where the search is performed.

Result_rangeit is optional and refers to the one-row or one-column where the value (also known as results) are returned.

LOOKUP Syntax 2 (Formula)

NB: note that this is an array function

=LOOKUP(value, array)

What each parameter/argument means

value – refers to the “value” that is being searched. One must bear in mind that the values are arranged in ascending order.

Array – refers to the “array” which includes all values.

However, in this article, we would consider the vector function for our example.

Example of the LOOKUP function

First, we must note that the LOOKUP function is a Worksheet function (WS) in Excel. Now, let’s consider the excel spreadsheet below-containing parameters of different cars.

Figure 1. Excel Spreadsheet with values.

Based on the Excel spreadsheet, entering the formula =LOOKUP(1200, A1:A6, B1:B6)gives us what we have in the spreadsheet below:

Figure 2: Excel LOOKUP function returns the corresponding value.


  • The Excel LOOKUP function usually returns the biggest value in the “lookup_range” when it can not find a similar match.
  • When the returned value is less than all the values in the “lookup_range,” the value (or error) returned by the LOOKUP function is #N/A.

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Need help with lookup when you have multiple lookup values
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need help with lookup when i have multiple lookup values. Plz help me
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I need to use wildcard in both lookup array and in lookup value, is there a way to achieve that?
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