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How to Create and Use a LOOKUP Table in Excel

We can create and use a LOOKUP TABLE in excel for sorting large amount of data. The LOOKUP TABLE allows us to evaluate cells and input an associated comment or remark. The steps below will walk through the process.

Figure 1- How to Create and Use a LOOKUP Table in Excel



  • Lookup_value: This is the value to search for
  • Table_array: This is the range to search for the lookup value
  • Col_index_num: This number specifies the column where we want the value to be returned from
  • Range_lookup: This is used to specify if we want and approximate or exact match of the lookup value. If omitted, VLOOKUP assumes an approximate match



Setting up the Data

We will use the LOOKUP TABLE to ascertain based on the comment in Column H if we will proceed with the stated expenditure in COLUMN C as shown in figure 2.


  • We will enter the expenditure into Column B
  • We will enter the cost into Column C
  • Column D contains the Remarks where the results will be returned by VLOOKUP



Figure 2 – Setting up the Data

Using the VLOOKUP Function in the LOOKUP TABLE

  • We will click on Cell D4
  • We will insert the formula below into Cell D4
  • We will press the enter key

Figure 3- VLOOKUP result for Remarks about the Furniture Expenditure

  • We will click on Cell D4 again
  • We will double click on the fill handle tool which is the small plus sign you see at the bottom right of Cell D4. Select and drag down to copy the formula to Cell D8

Figure 4- VLOOKUP results for Remarks about all Expenditure


  • The VLOOKUP function assumes that the lookup table is sorted in ascending order
  • If the lookup_value is greater than every value in the lookup table, the LOOKUP function matches the last value
  • If the lookup_value is less than all values in the lookup table, the VLOOKUP function returns the #N/A error

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