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How to apply negative vlookup to return the value in left of the key field in Excel?

Author: Xiaoyang Last Modified: 2020-01-16

Normally, the Vlookup function can help you to return the value in right columns. If your extracted data in left column, you may consider entering a negative column number within the formula: =Vlookup(F2,D2:D13,-3,0), but this will give an error result as following screenshot shown. How could you apply negative vlookup function to return a matching value in Excel?

doc vlookup negative 1

Apply negative vlookup to return the value in left column with User Defined function

Apply negative vlookup to return the value in left column with User Defined function

The following User Defined Function can help you to apply the negative vlookup in Excel worksheet, please do as this:

1. Hold down the ALT + F11 keys to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. Click Insert > Module, and paste the following code in the Module window.

VBA code: Apply negative vlookup to return the value in left column:

Function VLOOKUPNEG(lookup_value, table_array As Range, col_index_num As Integer, CloseMatch As Boolean)
Dim RowNr As Long
RowNr = Application.WorksheetFunction.Match(lookup_value, table_array.Resize(, 1), CloseMatch) 
VLOOKUPNEG = table_array(RowNr, 1).Offset(0, col_index_num)
End Function

3. Then save and close the code window, go back to the worksheet, and enter this formula: =VLOOKUPNEG(F2,D2:D13,-3,0) into a cell where you want to get the result, and then press Enter key, and the matched value in left column has been extracted successfully, see screenshot:

doc vlookup negative 2

Note: In the above formula, F2 is the cell contains the criteria you want to vlookup, D2:D13 is the column range where to search for, -3 is the column index number you want to return the matching value from.

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