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How to Use the HLOOKUP Function in Excel

We can use the HLOOKUP Function in excel to lookup and return values from a specific row in a table. “H” stands for “horizontal” in the HLOOKUP function, where lookup values appear in the first row of the table, moving horizontally to the right. Approximate and exact matching are supported by HLOOKUP and wildcards (* ?) are for finding partial matches. The steps below will walk through the process.

Figure 1- How to Use the HLOOKUP Function in Excel



  • Value: This is the value to search for
  • Table: This is the range to search for the lookup value
  • Row_index: This number specifies the row to retrieve the data
  • Range_lookup: This is used to specify if we want and approximate or exact match. If omitted, HLOOKUP assumes an approximate match



Setting up the Data

  • We will use the HLOOKUP function to find the associated discount for the amount for each client in Column A.

Figure 2 – Setting up the Data

Using the HLOOKUP Function

  • We will click on Cell D7
  • We will insert the formula below into Cell D7
  • We will press the enter key

Figure 3- HLOOKUP result for Discount for Mark LLC

  • We will click on Cell D7 again
  • We will double click on the fill handle tool which is the small plus sign you see at the bottom right of Cell D7. Select and drag down to copy the formula to Cell D11

Figure 4- HLOOKUP results


  • HLOOKUP is used when lookup values are located in the first row of a table.
  • If the lookup_value is greater than every value in the lookup table, the HLOOKUP function matches the last value
  • If the lookup_value is less than all values in the lookup table, the HLOOKUP function returns the #N/A error
  • If we omit range_lookup, the HLOOKUP function will allow a non-exact or approximate match, but it will use an exact match if one exists. The Approximate match is set as 1 and exact match is set as 2.
  • If we set the range_lookup to approximate match, then the lookup values in the first row of the table must be sorted in ascending order. Otherwise, HLOOKUP may return an incorrect or unexpected value.
  • If range_lookup is FALSE (exact match), values in the first row of the table do not need to be sorted.

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