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How to Use The Excel LOOKUP Function

The Excel LOOKUP function returns a value from a range of cells (one column or one row) or an array (multiple rows and columns) based on the approximate match as per the Vector or Array syntax. In this article, we will learn how to use the LOOKUP function with the Vector and Array syntax.

Figure 1. How to Use Excel LOOKUP Function

Syntax For The LOOKUP Function

The LOOKUP Function has the following two forms of syntax;

  • Vector Syntax – This syntax is used to look up the value in one column or one row and it returns the value from the corresponding position in the specified column or a row.
  • Array Syntax – This syntax is used to look up the value in an array consisting of multiple columns and rows.

Figure 2. The Syntax Forms Of The LOOKUP Function

Vector Syntax

The vector syntax form of the Lookup function is as follows;

=LOOKUP(lookup_value, lookup_vector, result_vector)

Where,

  • Lookup_value – It is a value that needs to be matched
  • Lookup_vector – It is the range of one column or row
  • Result_vector – It is the optional range of one column or one row from which we need to return the value. If this argument is omitted the function returns the matching value from the lookup_vector range.

Suppose we have listed a score structure in range B2: B7 (lookup_vector) and the relative grades in range C2: C7 (result_vector). We need to return the grade from the result_vector range, based on the approximate match of the given score in the lookup_vector, such as;

=LOOKUP(F3,B2:B7,C2:C7)

Figure 3. The Vector Syntax For the LOOKUP Function

Array Syntax

The array syntax form of the Lookup function is as follows;

=LOOKUP(lookup_value, array)

The lookup_value is searched based on the following array dimensions:

  • If the array contains more columns than rows, then function searches in the first row.
  • If rows are more than or equal to columns, then function searches in the first column.
  • The function returns the value from the same position in the last corresponding row or column

In our example, we need to use the following formula as per the array syntax to return the grades for the given score;

=LOOKUP(F3, B2: C7)

Figure 4. The Array Syntax For the LOOKUP Function

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Another blog reader asked this question today on Excelchat:
Solution examples
I'm trying to figure out how to have a value found in column c placed into column d if the value in column a equals that found in column b. Does that make sense?
Solved by I. H. in 40 mins
When i do a VLOOKUP, I cannot autofill the formula for the rest of the table. It copies the initial cell that the VLOOKUP was done.
Solved by G. A. in 20 mins
I need a formula (I think VLOOKUP) that will enable me to: Use data from one column, compare with another and tell me the difference. Im a teacher and want to work out the amount of marks needed to the next grade boundary. I've created the rest, but this has me stumped!
Solved by F. A. in 28 mins
how do I do the same formula for different cells, but i want a different cells value in each of the formulas. For example, if i was trying to find the percentage grade of each student in a class of 300.
Solved by I. W. in 14 mins
I'm not sure as to why my formula isn't working. I will send two files... Workbook 1.xlsx.xls Workbook 2.xlsm The problem is in Column H of Workbook 1.
Solved by E. H. in 42 mins

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