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How to use Vlookup Excel for Students

June 13, 2024
2.2K Views

VLOOKUP is undeniably one of the most powerful functions in Excel, and for anyone working with data, mastering it is like unlocking a superpower. As a writer entrenched in the world of tech topics, I dare say that if you haven't grasped the concept of VLOOKUP, you're missing out on a crucial aspect of the Excel game.

This function is a life-changer because it allows you to extract data from one table and integrate it with another, based on a common identifier. Its versatility makes it invaluable for various tasks.With VLOOKUP, you can effortlessly link datasets, compare information, and derive insights, making it an indispensable tool for anyone working with data. Let me walk you through the steps of how to use Vlookup Excel for students so you can utilize the full potential of this remarkable function.

How to use Vlookup Excel for Students

How to use Vlookup Excel for Students

Practical Applications of VLOOKUP Function in Excel for Students

In the journey of academic pursuits, students often encounter tasks that demand efficient data management and analysis. Among the array of tools available, the VLOOKUP function in Excel stands out as a versatile and invaluable asset. Let's explore how students can use the VLOOKUP in Excel through practical examples.

Example 1: Research Projects

Working on research projects can be hectic as it involves working with multiple datasets, fetching information from various sources, such as surveys and databases, to study the relationship between different variables. With the help of VLOOKUP, students can easily acquire data from different sources using a unique identifier, aiding in better data analysis. Moreover, you don't have to copy and paste or search for data manually, saving you time.

WPS Office Vlookup for Research Projects

WPS Office Vlookup for Research Projects

Example 2: Personal Finances

One of the main issues in a student's life is managing finances, and in fact, everyone should develop this habit. For students, the VLOOKUP function in Excel can help you easily track your expenses. Simply update a table each time you incur an expense, and at the end, using VLOOKUP, all the entries can be compiled, and a total can be managed more easily.

Example 3: Analyzing Experiment Data

As a student, working on experiments is routine, involving working with different tables and updating them each time you conduct a new experiment. Using the VLOOKUP Excel from another sheet functionality, you can correlate experimental conditions with results, facilitating data analysis in science or engineering projects. This allows you to quickly fetch relevant data from your results table based on experiment IDs, making it easier to identify patterns and draw meaningful conclusions without manually searching through your data. This efficient data handling not only saves time but also enhances the accuracy of your analysis.

How to Use VLOOKUP Function in Excel [on Desktop or Mobile]

The VLOOKUP function, as we've seen above, can be very useful in different situations for students. However, learning how to use the VLOOKUP function in Excel can take some time if you're a beginner. That's why I've prepared this guide with an example to break down this function for students. For ease of understanding, I'll be using WPS Spreadsheet for this tutorial, as I find it much easier to navigate and it is free to use. So make sure to download it so you can follow this tutorial step by step.

Using the VLOOKUP Function in Excel on Desktop

So, I have two workbooks as an example where I maintain my personal finances to manage my monthly budgets better. In one workbook, Expense Categories, I have categorized my expenses accordingly.

Expense Category Sheet

Expense Category Sheet

And in the other workbook, Transactions, I manage my daily transactions.

Transactions sheets

Transactions sheets

Now, using the VLOOKUP function, where you can see that the description column is common in both workbooks, let's see how we can use the VLOOKUP function to match the description with the assigned categories.

Step 1: Open both workbooks in WPS Spreadsheet to use the VLOOKUP function.

Step 2: Since we want to import the categories from the "Expense Categories" sheet to the "Transactions" sheet, open the "Transactions" sheet.

Step 3: Prepare the "Transactions" sheet by creating a new column titled "Category" in column D.

Step 4: In the first cell under the "Category" column, enter the VLOOKUP function. Remember, all functions start with an equal sign (=). Type VLOOKUP and press Tab to use the function.

VLOOKUP Function in WPS Spreadsheet

VLOOKUP Function in WPS Spreadsheet

Step 5: The first argument in the VLOOKUP function is the "lookup_value". Here, select the first cell from the column which is common in both workbooks. In our case, it is cell "C2" under the "Description" column.

Lookup_value argument

Lookup_value argument

Step 6: The second argument is the "table_array". Select the entire table from the "Expense Categories" sheet.

Table_array Argument

Table_array Argument

Remember to make the cell reference absolute by pressing the F4 key on your keyboard.
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Making the table array an absolute reference

Making the table array an absolute reference

Step 7: For the "col_index_num" argument, insert the column number from the "Expense Categories" table that contains the category information. Since the "Category" is the 2nd column, insert 2 here.

Col_index_num argument

Col_index_num argument

Step 8: The last argument is the "range_lookup" argument. We need an exact match, so select FALSE, and then press Enter.

Range_lookup argument

Range_lookup argument

Step 9: Now that the VLOOKUP function is up and running in our worksheet, populate the other cells by dragging the cell using the "fill handle".

Using the Vlookup Function in WPS Spreadsheet to manage Finances

Using the Vlookup Function in WPS Spreadsheet to manage Finances

The VLOOKUP function is quite a powerful tool, saving time for students on all fronts; whether you're working on a research project, managing your personal finances, or assisting your professors with assignments. When using VLOOKUP, there are some common mistakes that beginners usually make. However, if you follow the steps laid out, you won't have any issues.

Using the VLOOKUP Function in Excel on Mobile

Using VLOOKUP on your mobile can have a few limitations, but WPS Spreadsheet provides straightforward solutions for its mobile users with basic VLOOKUP functionalities. Let's see how we can execute the VLOOKUP function in Excel using WPS Spreadsheet.

Step 1: Open the workbook on WPS Spreadsheet where you want to use VLOOKUP.

Load Spreadsheet on WPS Office

Load Spreadsheet on WPS Office

Step 2: Click on the cell where you want to enter the VLOOKUP formula.

Step 3: Start the VLOOKUP function by typing an equal sign (=) and then entering "VLOOKUP". You will find the VLOOKUP function in the suggestions; click on it to proceed.

Enter Vlookup Function in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Enter Vlookup Function in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Step 4: For the first argument, select the lookup value. In our example, select cell "C2".

Lookup_value argument in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Lookup_value argument in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Step 5: Next, select the table where you want Excel to look and fetch values. It is important to have the table in the same sheet to perform VLOOKUP on mobile.

Table_array argument in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Table_array argument in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Absolute referencing needs to be done manually on mobile in spreadsheet software. To do this, first select the cells you want to reference, and then add a "$" sign to make it an absolute reference. For example: $A$13.
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Absolute Referencing in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Absolute Referencing in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Step 6: Select the column number from where you want to fetch the values. Since our values are in the second column, enter “2” or select the column name from the suggestions.

Col_index_num argument in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Col_index_num argument in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Step 7: The last argument is about accuracy. Since we want the exact value to be populated, select "False".

Step 8: Click on the "Enter" button on your mobile keyboard.

Get Exact Value using Vlookup function

Get Exact Value using Vlookup function

Step 9: To populate the remaining cells, click on the cell with the formula to open the hover tab and then tap on the "AutoFill" option.

Autofill option in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Autofill option in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Step 10: Now, simply drag the arrows to populate the remaining cells with the VLOOKUP function.

Vlookup Function in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

Vlookup Function in WPS Spreadsheet Mobile

The mobile version of WPS Spreadsheet provides all the basic functionalities for students. In my experience, working on spreadsheets on mobile usually involves small tasks, which are well supported in WPS Spreadsheets. Plus, the office suite is completely free to use compared to its competitors, and it has no significant learning curve.

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FAQs

1. How Can I Do a VLOOKUP With Two Spreadsheets in Excel?

To perform a VLOOKUP in two separate spreadsheets in Excel, follow these straightforward steps:

Step 1: Begin by opening the spreadsheet where you intend to utilize the VLOOKUP function and click on an empty cell.

Step 2: Enter the VLOOKUP function in the empty cell.

Step 3: For the first argument, select the cell containing the "Lookup_value".

Step 4: Moving to the next argument, navigate to the other sheet from which you wish to fetch values. Select the array or cells for the VLOOKUP.

Step 5: Now, specify the column number holding the lookup value in the other sheet.

Step 6: For exact matches, select "False" as the last argument and press Enter.

2. What are some common challenges students face when using VLOOKUP?

Students often encounter several common challenges when using VLOOKUP in Excel, such as:

  • Data Inconsistencies: Variations or errors in the data can cause VLOOKUP to return incorrect results or fail altogether.

  • Understanding Syntax: The proper syntax for VLOOKUP can be confusing, especially for beginners, leading to mistakes in the formula setup.

  • Handling Errors: Errors such as #N/A or #REF! can occur frequently and need to be understood and managed appropriately.

WPS Office: Your Ultimately Academic Support System

VLOOKUP is a life hack that can help you manage large datasets effortlessly. This function is invaluable for anyone working with spreadsheets, allowing you to quickly find and integrate data across different tables. But with WPS Office, you get much more than just VLOOKUP Excel for students. WPS Office enhances your ability to perform a wide range of functions with ease, thanks to its intuitive design and robust features. So, download WPS Office and explore the powerful tools and features it has in store for you.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.