VLOOKUP Function In Excel 2010

Excel VLOOKUP function can be used when you need to look up the values in the specific table and check it against the other data fields for comparison purpose. VLOOKUP stands for Vertical lookup, used to find specific data from the datasheet. By creating a sample table generally referred as lookup table you can extract info from it and compare it with the desired field to yield required results. This post elaborates where you can use VLOOKUP  function.

Launch Excel 2010, and open a datasheet on which you want to apply VLOOKUP function.

For instance, we have included a student grading datasheet, containing fields; Name, Course, and Marks.


Now we will add new column Grade, which will contain grades secured by the students. Now for this, we will be using VLOOKUP function for looking up values from other table that contains sample data for grades.

Create two new columns containing marks range (sorted in any order) and corresponding grades. you don’t need to create them in a new worksheet, you can place anywhere in the existing datasheet as we just want to get values from it.

new table

Now in the Grade first row, we will write VLOOKUP function. The syntax of this function is

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

The first parameter of the formula lookup_value defines the value of the number which we will be looking in the newly created table. We need to lookup the value 80 (Marks field) in the newly created table. The next parameter, table_array defines the table we will be referring to in our case it will be newly created table, containing ranges of marks and grades. col_index_num defines data from which column we want to extract values to show, in our case it is the second column that contain grades range. [range_lookup] lets you to choose an option  either TRUE(approximately matching of values) or FALSE (Exact matching of values).

We will write this function in Grade first row, it will go like this;


In the formula parameters, C2 is cell of column Marks which contain marks secured by students, F3:G8 is the location of the newly created table, containing ranges of marks and grades (use absolute referencing with $ sign), 2 in the formula means that values from second column will appear, and TRUE defines that we need approximately match as we have included ranges not exact values.

After evaluating formula, it will show grade A in Grade column as shown in the screen shot below.

vlook func 1

Now apply this function over the whole Grade column, drag the plus sign towards the end of Grade column to apply it over, as show in the screen shot below.

grade 1

Now we also want to calculate the prize money for each student. for instance, we assume the following criteria.

For grade A  $1000

For grade B+ $700

For grade B   &600

For grade C+ $250

For grade D   N/A

The criteria defined contains the exact value, so we will be making a small change in the parameters of the function. we will be choosing FALSE from [range_lookup] instead of TRUE as we want to show the exact match.

D2 contains the grade secured by students, so it will check the value in Grade column against the newly created columns, containing prize money criteria, as shown in the screenshot below.

prize money 1

Now apply the function in Prize Money column to view the prize money won by each student. Now as you can see in the screenshot below that by using VLOOKUP function it is easier to look up specific values for populating new fields by connecting different columns.

final 1

You can also check out our previously reviewed guides on How to embed videos in Excel 2010 & Adding Outlook email tool in Excel.

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  • shalini

    it is very useful


    • K Sambath Kumar

      Hai shalini if you have any other idea for excel formulas tell me.

    • Ganhi2008

      what is use of vlookup function in excel

    • Ganhi2008

      i am trying to use from morming but i dont no how it will effect

  • K Sambath Kumar

    It is really very useful for, who ones wants to learn how to use formulas in Excel speardseets. Thanking for such great helpful ideas. continue…

  • Jose

    An excellent article about how to use vlookup, it is very useful and easy to understand. Thanks!!!

  • Rahul Sharma

    it is very useful

    Rahul Dancer

  • sobhit

    Very nyc but want more too learn

  • manju

    Thank you very much shalini

    its very use full for me

  • Romel_Ivan333

    Thanks it is very useful


  • Mythili

    SINCE it is a small table it is understandable and we are creating another table with comparable figures. But whereas in case of Banking sector, MNC where 1000 of records of maintained with different values, nos. names, how is it possible to create comparing table, without which the formula serves no purpose. is there any way that u can explain from a to z.


  • Momof2naz

    what if I want to multiply my Look-up value by the table array. I know I can write a formula to obtain my answer, but if I could create a table that I can reuse over & over…..
    so, per your example, what if the prize money was a % and not a fixed amount?  

  • S Anitha1601

    great thanks

  • Juan

    Thank you, it was very usefull to me. GRACIAS.

  • http://www.facebook.com/owiowais Owais Ahmed Khan

    very well explained!! Thnx.

  • Harry

    When using Vlookup with numerical data, as currently coded it does not return the nearest value in the lookup table, only the highest value exceeded. Would it be so difficult to incorporate such a capability? I think there are many out there who want to use it that way.

  • Mannat

    It’s also useful thing Now And Future am i right guy’s ?



  • Debra

    How to you return a zero instead of the #N/A?

  • Karl

    Did I miss it, or did you forget to mention the BIG qualifier for the function to work: The lookup table lookup column MUST have the numeric or alpha data in rows of ascending order or it won’t work.

  • Abhishek

    Thanks for sharing the useful information with example.

  • Madhukumar reddy

    Thanks,i got a idea now. how to use lockup function in excel.

  • kamran khan

    i have been trying to use the function but every time it is giving me value for data at the end of the cloumn not the exact data it is kind of weird i dont know how to solve this any suggestion please

  • http://www.facebook.com/okunife.omodara Okunife Omodara

    thanks, this as really been helpfull.

  • sunil

    nice example

  • LMotu

    This tutorial was very helpful…..Learned alot

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    you smell like dog buns, UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!! :{

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    Really stupid!

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  • edu

    thank you very much it was very useful

  • vijay

    superb explanation


    It is very helpful. Thank you.

  • Vamsy Daya

    Hi, Im unable to use VLOOKUP formula in excel 2010 for a particular data…
    pls help..