Vlookup exact match only in Excel

VLOOKUP with exact match is necessary to ensure accurate and precise data retrieval. It ensures that the lookup value matches exactly with the data in the lookup table, eliminating any potential errors or mismatches. This is particularly important when dealing with sensitive or critical information where even a slight discrepancy can have significant consequences. Using exact match in VLOOKUP guarantees the reliability and integrity of the retrieved data, providing confidence in decision-making processes and analysis.

How to use vlookup exact and approximate match in Excel

The VLOOKUP function is used to search for a specific value in the leftmost column of a table and return a corresponding value from another column in the same row. There are two types of matches you can perform with VLOOKUP: exact match and approximate match.

  1. Exact Match: To perform an exact match, follow these steps:

Step 1: Set up your data Make sure your data is organized in a table format with the lookup value in the leftmost column and the corresponding values in subsequent columns.

Step 2: Enter the formula In the cell where you want the result to appear, enter the following formula:





=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])

Step 3: Replace the arguments

  • lookup_value: This is the value you want to search for.
  • table_array: Select the range of cells that contains the lookup table.
  • col_index_num: Specify the column number from which you want to retrieve the result. Count from the leftmost column of the table, starting with 1.
  • range_lookup: This argument should be set to “FALSE” to perform an exact match. Omitting this argument or setting it to “TRUE” will perform an approximate match, which we’ll cover in the next section.

Step 4: Press Enter After entering the formula with the appropriate arguments, press Enter to get the result.

Example: Let’s say we have a table with employees’ names in column A and their corresponding salaries in column B. To find the salary of an employee named John, assuming the table starts at cell A2, you would use the following formula:





=VLOOKUP("John", A2:B10, 2, FALSE)

This formula will search for “John” in column A and return the corresponding salary from column B.

  1. Approximate Match: To perform an approximate match, follow these steps:

Step 1: Sort your data Make sure the data in the leftmost column of your lookup table is sorted in ascending order.

Step 2: Repeat steps 2-4 from the exact match instructions Follow the same steps as the exact match, but this time set the range_lookup argument to “TRUE” or omit it altogether.

Example: Let’s say we have a table with product prices in column A, and we want to find the price for a specific value, assuming the table starts at cell A2. The formula would look like this:





=VLOOKUP(42, A2:B10, 2, TRUE)

This formula will search for the value 42 in column A and return the closest match from column B.

How to use VLOOKUP with exact match in Excel

VLOOKUP is a powerful function Microsoft Excel that allows you to search for a specific value in a table and retrieve information from another column in the same row. By default, VLOOKUP performs an approximate match, but sometimes you may need to perform an exact match. this tutorial, we will guide you through the steps of using VLOOKUP with an exact match in Excel.

Step 1: Understanding the Syntax of VLOOKUP Function Before we dive into using VLOOKUP with an exact match, let’s understand the syntax of the function:

=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])

  • lookup_value: The value you want to find in the first column of the table.
  • table_array: The range of cells that contains the data you want to search.
  • col_index_num: The column number the table from which you want to retrieve the data.
  • range_lookup: Optional. This argument specifies whether you want an approximate match or an exact match. We will focus on the exact match in this tutorial.

Step 2: Sorting the Lookup Column To ensure accurate results with an exact match, it’s important to sort the lookup column in ascending order. This step is crucial because VLOOKUP assumes the data is sorted when performing an exact match.

Step 3: Using VLOOKUP with Exact Match Now, let’s use VLOOKUP with exact match. Assuming we have a table with two columns: “Product ID” in column A and “Product Name” in column B.

  1. Select the cell where you want to display the result of the VLOOKUP formula.
  2. Enter the following formula: =VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, FALSE) Replace “lookup_value” with the value you want to search for, “table_array” with the range of cells containing your data, and “col_index_num” with the column number from which you want to retrieve the data. For example: =VLOOKUP(A2, $A2:2:B$10, 2, FALSE) In this example, A2 is the lookup value, $A2:2:B$10 is the table array, 2 represents the second column (Product Name), and FALSE indicates an exact match.
  3. Press Enter to get the result. The formula will search for the lookup value in the first column of the table and return the corresponding value from the specified column.

Step 4: Dragging the Formula Once you have entered the VLOOKUP formula in the first cell, you can drag it down to apply the formula to other cells. Excel will automatically adjust the references based the relative position of each cell.

A Real Example of Using VLOOKUP Function with Exact Match in Excel

In this tutorial, will explore a real-life example of using the VLOOKUP function with an exact match Microsoft Excel. The VLOOKUP function is a powerful tool that allows you to search for a specific value in a table and retrieve information from another column associated with that value. understanding this example, you will gain practical knowledge of how to use the VLOOKUP function effectively in your own Excel projects.

Example Scenario: ‘s consider a scenario where you work for a retail company that sells various products. You have been given a sales data sheet containing information about the products sold, their prices, and the corresponding salesperson responsible for each sale. Your task is to create a summary report that displays the salesperson’s name for each product sold.

Step 1: Set up the Data: Begin setting up your data in Excel. Create a table with three columns: “Product Name,” “Price,” and “Salesperson.” Populate the table with relevant data, ensuring that each product has a unique salesperson assigned to it.

Step 2: Insert the VLOOKUP Formula: Next, select a cell where you want the salesperson’s name to appear in the summary report. In this cell, enter the following formula:

=VLOOKUP([cell_reference], [table_range], [column_number], FALSE)

Explanation of the Formula:

  • [cell_reference]: Replace this with the cell containing the product name for which you want to find the salesperson’s name.
  • [table_range]: Specify the range of cells that includes the entire table containing the product names, prices, and salespersons.
  • [column_number]: Indicate the column number (starting from 1) that contains the salesperson’s names within the table.
  • FALSE: This parameter ensures an exact match is performed during the lookup.

Step 3: Apply the Formula: After entering the formula, press Enter to apply it. Excel will search for the specified product name in the table and return the corresponding salesperson’s name.

Step 4: Copy the Formula: To obtain the salesperson’s names for all products, copy the formula down to the remaining cells in the summary report column. Excel will automatically adjust the cell references, allowing you to retrieve the correct salesperson’s name for each product.

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