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How to Lookup a Value Between Two Numbers in Excel

Excel allows a user to lookup a value between two numbers using the LOOKUP function. This step by step tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in learning how to lookup a value between two numbers in Excel.

Figure 1. The result of the nested LOOKUP function

Syntax of the LOOKUP Formula

The generic formula for the LOOKUP function is:

=LOOKUP(lookup_value, lookup_vector, [result_vector])

The parameters of the LOOKUP function are:

  • lookup_value – a value or column based on which we want to get a value
  • lookup_vector – an array of vectors for getting the values
  • [result_vector] – an array of resulting values.

Setting up Our Data for the LOOKUP Function

The first table consists of 3 columns: “Student” (column B), “Ponts” (column C) and “Grade” (column D). The second table is the grade scale and has 3 columns: “Points Min” (column F), “Points Max” (column G) and “Grade” (column F). Based on a number of the points, we want to get a grade for each student in column D, using the points scale in the second table.

Figure 2. The tables for the LOOKUP function example

Get a Grade Based on Points Using the LOOKUP Function

In our example, we want to get a grade in the cell D3 for Michael, who has 76 points. In order to do this, we need to check the second table and to find where the 76 points are between “Points Min” and “Points Max”.

The formula looks like:

=LOOKUP(2, 1/((C3>=$F$3:$F$7) * (C3<=$G$3:$G$7)), $H$3:$H$9)

The parameter lookup_value is 2. The lookup_vector is 1/((C3>=$F$3:$F$7) * (C3<=$G$3:$G$7)). The result vector is $H$3:$H$9.

To apply the LOOKUP function, we need to follow these steps:

  • Select cell D3 and click on it
  • Insert the formula: =LOOKUP(2, 1/((C3>=$F$3:$F$7) * (C3<=$G$3:$G$7)), $H$3:$H$9)
  • Press enter
  • Drag the formula down to the other cells in the column by clicking and dragging the little “+” icon at the bottom-right of the cell.

Let’s evaluate the formula and see what happens:

Figure 3. Evaluate the formula – step 1

First, values from the lookup_value are compared with ranges F3:F7 and G3:G7 and TRUE or FALSE are returned for both comparations.

Figure 4. Evaluate the formula – step 2

Next, all TRUE values are converted to 1 and FALSE to 0. Now, the two arrays are multiplied and we get the array of 0 and 1. Next, we have to divide 1 with this array.

Figure 5. Evaluate the formula – step 3

After the division, we get an array of division by zero errors and one 1. The position of that 1, is the row of our result_vector where the resulting value is.

Figure 6. Using the LOOKUP function to get a value between two numbers

As you can see in Figure 6, the value of 76 points is between 75 and 84 (F5 and G5). Therefore, we get the grade from the cell H5, which is 8.

Most of the time, the problem you will need to solve will be more complex than a simple application of a formula or function. If you want to save hours of research and frustration, try our live Excelchat service! Our Excel Experts are available 24/7 to answer any Excel question you may have. We guarantee a connection within 30 seconds and a customized solution within 20 minutes.

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