Excel MATCH Function

General Formula



The Excel MATCH function is used in finding the exact position of a particular value in a column, row, or the entire table. The Excel MATCH function is designed to support exact matching and approximate together with wildcards (i.e., * and ?) which are used for partial matches. Most times, the Excel INDEX function is often combined together with the Excel MATCH function to return the lookup value at the exact position that has been returned by the MATCH function.

Uses of the Excel MATCH Function

Used in getting the exact position of an item in a table or an array

Generated Result for the Excel MATCH Function

A number or value representing the exact position in the array or table being looked up.

Logical Parameters employed in the Excel MATCH function

  • Match Type: This is optional though.  This refers to how the match will be carried out. Usually specified as -1, 0, or 1. But the default value is usually 0.
  • Lookup Value: The exact value to match among the lookup array.
  • Lookup Array: This is the cell range within an array or table reference.


Figure 1: Example of how to use the Excel MATCH function to look up the position of Egypt in the list of countries shown

The formula used in E7 is:


This looks up the chronological order of “Egypt” and returns as 5.

Notes on the usage of the Excel MATCH Function 

  • Using the Excel MATCH function, you can get the relative position of a value or item in a table or an array or table.
  • There are different matching modes in the Excel MATCH function and this makes it more flexible compared to other lookup functions in Excel.
  • When used together with INDEX, the Excel MATCH function can perfectly retrieve the value that is present at the matched position.
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