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How to Use VLOOKUP to Find Specific Data

July 26, 2022

Do you need to find specific data in a large excel spreadsheet? If so, then you can use the VLOOKUP function to do just that. The VLOOKUP function is one of the most useful functions in excel, and it can be used to find data in any table or matrix. In this article, we will show you excel how to use VLOOKUP function to find specific data in an excel spreadsheet. We will also provide a few tips for using this function effectively.

The VLOOKUP function is a powerful tool that can be used to find data in any table or matrix. This function is particularly useful for finding data in large excel spreadsheets. The VLOOKUP function can be used to find data in any column, and it can also be used to find data in any row. Once you read this piece of writing you will be able to use excel how to use VLOOKUP function.


The VLOOKUP function is used to find data in a table or matrix. The function takes two arguments: the value to be looked up, and the column in which the value is located. The function returns the value of the cell in the column that contains the value to be looked up.

Here is an example of how the VLOOKUP function can be used to find data in an excel spreadsheet:

1. Suppose we have a table of data that includes the names of countries, their populations, and their GDPs. We want to use the VLOOKUP function to find the Population of each country. The picture is shown below:

2. To find the Population of each country, we will use the VLOOKUP function as follows:


This function will look up the value in cell A3 (China), and return the value in column B of the table (Population).

How to use VLOOKUP function in WPS?

1. Select the cell within which you would like the VLOOKUP formula to be calculated by clicking on it.

2. Select Formulas from the menu that appears at the top of the screen. Go to the lookup and reference and then choose VLOOKUP.

3. Now you have to put input according to the demand of each cell. Look value is as we want to know the Population of China so lookup value is A3 AND table select the whole data you want to search and then select the column num in which the data you want lie as Population is in number 2 column and click ok.

4. As you click ok the result is ready.

How to Use VLOOKUP function: Practical Application

Not only can you use VLOOKUP to search for specific values, but you can also use it to combine two spreadsheets into a single document. If you have a worksheet with names and phone numbers and another sheet with names and email addresses, for instance, you can use the VLOOKUP function to insert the email addresses next to the names and phone numbers on the worksheet with the names and phone numbers.

After reading this article about excel how to use VLOOKUP. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments area below. If you want more information about the WPS office, you may receive it by heading to the website for the WPS Academy. WPS Office, which is available for free download from this page, allows you to edit documents in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF formats. To use WPS Office, download on the links provided.

What is VLOOKUP?

VLOOKUP is a widely used feature in Microsoft Excel to find a certain value in a table and return the corresponding related data. It is one of Excel's built-in functions that provide users with a simple yet powerful way to process large amounts of data and retrieve the required information quickly.

The function takes four main arguments:

1. Lookup value: The value you want to find in the leftmost column of the table.

2. Table Array: The range of cells that contains the table you want to search.

3. Column index number: The column number within the table array from which you want to retrieve data.

4. Range lookup: An optional parameter that specifies whether you want an exact match or an approximate match. It is usually set to either "TRUE" or "FALSE."

VLOOKUP is a powerful tool for data analysis, especially when working with large datasets or when you need to extract specific information from a table based on certain criteria.

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Benefits of VLOOKUP

1. VLOOKUP allows you to find values in a large dataset without the need for manual searching, saving you time and effort.

2. VLOOKUP can handle a wide range of data types, including numbers, text, dates, and more.

3. The syntax of the VLOOKUP function is relatively simple, making it accessible to users with different levels of spreadsheet expertise.

4. By automating the data retrieval process, VLOOKUP reduces the chances of human error.

5. VLOOKUP can handle large datasets with thousands of rows or more, making it suitable for analyzing and retrieving data from extensive tables.

6. The purpose of VLOOKUP is to provide a simple yet powerful way to find and retrieve data to help users do efficient data analysis and processing in Excel.

7. Users can be more productive and handle complex data operations with ease.

8. VLOOKUP helps maintain consistency in your data by pulling information from a centralized table. When you update the original table, the results of the VLOOKUP function automatically reflect the changes, ensuring data integrity across multiple cells and worksheets.

9. The ability to extract specific information from a table using VLOOKUP is valuable for decision-making and reporting purposes within the organization. You can use it to generate summaries, compare data, or perform data analysis tasks.


Question 1: When will the VLOOKUP be used?

The VLOOKUP function is used for several purposes, and some of the main ones are mentioned below in brief detail:

1. Data Lookup: The VLOOKUP function is very useful when you need to look up a specific value in a data table. For example, find product prices in sales orders or find employee salary information based on their name.

2. Data matching: When you need to match the relevant information in two data tables, the VLOOKUP function can help to find the match. For example, find the corresponding customer contact information in a customer list and add it to the sales report.

3. Data analysis: By using the VLOOKUP function, you can find relevant information in a large data set based on an identifier or condition for further data analysis. For example, find product sales based on product number and calculate total sales.

4. Dynamic Reports: The VLOOKUP function can be used to create dynamic reports that enable reports to be automatically updated based on different input values. For example, use the VLOOKUP function in a sales report to dynamically summarize sales data based on the salesperson’s name or region.

Question 2: How VLOOKUP works?

Below is the functionality of the VLOOKUP function according to the steps required to perform a lookup on the selected columns of data:

1. Locate the search value: VLOOKUP will first locate the column where the search value is located in the specified data range based on the search value provided by the user.

2. Match search values: Once you navigate to the column where the search value is located, VLOOKUP looks for items that match the search value in that column according to the user-specified matching method (exact match or approximate match).  

3. Return Results: Once a matching item is found, VLOOKUP returns the corresponding result from the relevant data range based on the column index specified by the user. The column index specifies the position of the desired result in the data range, based on the first column in the data range.  

4. Handling error conditions: If no match is found, VLOOKUP returns an error value (usually #N/A). Users can handle these error conditions by setting the appropriate error-handling method, such as using the IFERROR function.

Question 3: Is VLOOKUP the best option for all lookup tasks?

VLOOKUP is not the best choice for all lookup tasks. While the VLOOKUP function is very useful in many cases, in some cases, there may be alternatives that are more suitable. The data structure, flexibility, running speed, and functional requirements are some factors to consider.


Above in this article, we found out how to use the VLOOKUP function to look up values in multiple columns. You have also studied how to use the right formula syntax to find the VLOOKUP value. This function can help you play with data and find values from multiple columns you want to use further in the sheets.

The best part is that you can do all this by using the WPS Office suite. WPS has dedicated Excel sheets software that provides all the formula combinations as used in MS Excel. The only difference is that you will have to buy MS Excel from the Microsoft website, while WPS Office suite is completely free to download and use.

WPS Office also has a separate category of free templates that can be used to edit pre-made sheets to save your time and invest your energy in something more productive.

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