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Two-way lookup with INDEX and MATCH

There are times when we want to lookup a value in an excel table using both the rows and columns. To do this, we need to build a formula that is based on a two-way lookup with INDEX and MATCH as explained in this article.

Figure 1: How to do two-way lookup with INDEX and MATCH

General syntax of the formula

=INDEX(data, MATCH(val,rows,1),MATCH(val,columns,1))

How the formula works

  • This formula carries out approximate match. This means that you need to first sort the data before you apply it.
  • The INDEX function forms the backbone of the formula. This function retrieves the value from the data as supplied in range C6:G10. This is based on a row number as well as column number.
  • This is in the following form; =INDEX(C6:G10, row, column)
  • The MATCH function then comes in to help get the row and column number. This function is also configured to approximate match by setting the third argument to 1, implying TRUE.


Figure 2:  Example of how to do two-way lookup with INDEX and MATCH

In the above example, we want to find the cost of at the point where the height 7 and width 4 meet. To do this, we proceed as follows;

Step 1: Tabulate the excel table with data

Step 2: Indicate where you want the data to be located, i.e. in column H.

Step 3: Indicate the parameters, i.e. the width (4) and the height (7).

Step 4: Then in the cell where we want to have the cost, we put the formula =INDEX(B3:E7,MATCH(H3,A3:A7,1),MATCH(H4,B2:E2,1))

Step 5: We press Enter to get the cost as $2.00

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