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The VLOOKUP function, when mastered, is one of the most useful functions in Microsoft Excel. A VLOOKUP is a function that works off the first column in a list of data. When would you use a VLOOKUP? When you are trying to pull specific data from a list into another cell. For our example we will use an Invoice List:
For a VLOOKUP to work you must have a unique identifier and that unique identifier must be in the first column of your list. In this example our unique identifier is the Invoice Number. Once the VLOOKUP is executed if we put XL_SKIN2013 in a cell with the function it will return to us all the information we want. Please note the VLOOKUP function has no restrictions whether you want to pull information into the same spreadsheet, same workbook, or different workbooks.
To start, we put our Unique Identifier into a new cell. This will be the new list where we want to pull this information into.
The cell next to XL_SKIN2015 will be where we enter the VLOOKUP formula. Refer back to the Formula Builder Shortcut to open the Formula Builder.
Type VLOOKUP in the Search for a Function and double click VLOOKUP to start the function:
The formula builder will ask you for lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, and range_lookup(optional). For these values insert:
Press Enter and the information should appear in the VLOOKUP cell!
If you would like to add more information to the new list simply drag the VLOOKUP down and keep adding Invoice Numbers. The information will automatically populate: