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Exact match with VLOOKUP

To find out the information listed in Excel about a specific product, movie or a person, etc., you should take advantage of the VLOOKUP function.

exact match with vlookup 1

How to find exact matches with VLOOKUP?

To fill in the information about the specific product 30003 as shown in the screenshot above, the VLOOKUP function will quickly help you to solve the problem. Note that to use the VLOOKUP function, you need to have the product ID, i.e., the lookup value, listed at the leftmost column of the table, while the other information you want to retrieve at the right side.

Generic syntax

=VLOOKUP(lookup_value,table_array,col_num,FALSE)

  • lookup_value: The value to lookup. Here refers to the given product ID.
  • table_array: The range of cells where to look for exact matches. Here refers to all the data including the product ID, color, size, and price information.
  • col_num: The column you indicate in the table_array from which you want to retrieve the matched data.
  • range_lookup FALSE: Forces VLOOKUP to only find the first exact match.

To fill in the information about the product 30003, please copy or enter the formulas below in the corresponding cells, and press Enter to get the results:

Color (Cell H6) =VLOOKUP(H4,B5:E9,2,FALSE)
Size (Cell H7) =VLOOKUP(H4,B5:E9,3,FALSE)
Price (Cell H8) =VLOOKUP(H4,B5:E9,4,FALSE)

√ Note: Instead of typing the product ID 30003 in the formulas, we used the cell reference H4 since we want the formulas to be dynamic. In this way, we can easily get the information about other products by only changing the product ID in the cell H4.

exact match with vlookup 2

Explanation of the formula

Here we use the formula below as an example:

=VLOOKUP(H4,B5:E9,2,FALSE)

  • The range_lookup FALSE forces VLOOKUP to find the exact match of 30003, the value in H4, in the range B5:E9. So, it will lookup the 3rd row in the range.
  • Then the VLOOKUP function will retrieve the value in the 2nd column of the 3rd row, which is Blue.

Related functions

Excel VLOOKUP function

The Excel VLOOKUP function searches for a value by matching on the first column of a table and returns the corresponding value from a certain column in the same row.


Related Formulas

Exact match with INDEX and MATCH

If you need to find out the information listed in Excel about a specific product, movie or a person, etc., you should make a good use of the combination of INDEX and MATCH functions.

Approximate match with VLOOKUP

To find approximate matches in Excel which can be used to calculate postage based on weight, evaluate employees' performance, calculate income tax based on salary, etc., you can use the VLOOKUP function to retrieve the approximate match as you need.

Left lookup with VLOOKUP

In this tutorial, we will discuss about how to use VLOOKUP to find out the information listed in the left columns in Excel about a given item which is at the right side. We may know that the VLOOKUP function cannot look to its left, so in order to accomplish the task, we will have to use the help of the CHOOSE function.

Partial match with VLOOKUP

There are times when you need Excel to retrieve data based on partial information. To solve the problem, you can use a VLOOKUP formula together with wildcard characters - the asterisk (*) and question mark (?).


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