While working on data in Excel, sometimes we need to check whether a specific cell value exists in a column or range of data. We tell Excel to find a value in a column or data range, and if the value exists in a column then return a specified value, else return otherwise.

There are a number of ways to accomplish this task, and this article will show you, using examples, those methods.

### Check if a value exists in a column using MATCH

Excel’s MATCH function searches for a value in a column or array and returns its relative position based on your chosen match type, whether exact or partial match. If the value is not found, then it returns a **#NA** error. Its syntax is:

`MATCH (value, array, [match_type])`

Suppose we have various invoice numbers in a column and their respective amounts. We want to check if a certain invoice exists in that column, and return “YES,” otherwise return #NA. We check this using MATCH and IF functions in Excel, such as

`=IF(MATCH(D3,$A$2:$A$17,0),"Yes")`

This formula uses the MATCH function as a logical condition and If the MATCH function returns relative position of a value then the IF function returns “YES,” otherwise this formula returns **#NA** error as shown below.

If we want to see the result in **Yes** or **No** instead of **Yes** or **#NA** error, then we need to introduce another function **IFERROR** in above IF statement formula to return **“No”** to replace **#NA** error where value not found.

`=IFERROR(IF(MATCH(D3,$A$2:$A$17,0),"Yes"),"No")`

IF function checks whether MATCH function returns a relative position or not? If the MATCH function returns a relative position of a value then the IF function returns “Yes,” otherwise the IFERROR function replaces **#NA** error with **“No”** as shown below.

### Check if a value exists in a column using VLOOKUP

The VLOOKUP function searches a value in the first column of a table or data range based on match type and returns its related value from that row in a specified column based on **column_index_number**. IF the value is found in that column then it returns the value as a result. Otherwise, it returns an **#NA** error.

Its syntax is;

`=VLOOKUP (lookup_value, table_array, column_index_number, [range-lookup])`

Suppose we want to check if a value exists in a column using the VLOOKUP function then return its related value from another column. For example, search an invoice number from the 1^{st} column of a table and return the amount of that invoice. We can do it easily using the VLOOKUP function.

`=VLOOKUP(D3,$A$2:$B$17,2,FALSE)`

Now suppose we want to check if an invoice exists in a column, otherwise return a blank cell. We can do that by introducing the **IFERROR** function with the VLOOKUP function in a formula to replace an **#NA** error, such as;

`=IFERROR(VLOOKUP(D3,$A$2:$B$17,2,FALSE),"")`

We can see this formula returns blank cell when an invoice is not found in the column.

In this example, now we need to check if a value exists in a column using VLOOKUP function, and if the value is found then return **“Yes”**, otherwise return **“No”**, so we can do this by using VLOOKUP function with IF and IFERROR functions, like the following:

`=IFERROR(IF(VLOOKUP(D3,$A$2:$B$17,2,FALSE),"Yes"),"No")`

In this formula, If VLOOKUP function searches for an invoice number, then the IF function returns “**YES**,” otherwise IFERROR function replace **#NA** error with “**No**.”

### Check if a value exists in a column using Conditional Formatting

The Conditional Formatting feature can be used to check if a value exists in a column or not. If the specified value exists in a column, then conditional formatting highlights that value with an applied formatting style like Fill, border, or font, etc.

In this example we want to check if a certain invoice exists in a column using the Conditional Formatting feature and following these steps;

- Select the values in Invoice No. column
- Go to
**Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rules > Equal to** - A dialog box appears. Insert the value that needs to be searched in column
- Select
**Formatting Style**from the next drop-down list, and press**OK**

The problem you are trying to solve could be more complex than these examples. If you are in a rush or need a real Expert to help you save hours of struggle, click on this link to enter your problem and get connect to a qualified Excel expert in a few seconds. You can share your file, and an expert will create a solution for you on the spot during a 1:1 live chat session. The first session is free.

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