Lookup Formulas Training Series – Getting Started with VLOOKUP (1 of 3)

The Lookup Formulas Training Series Part 1:

The 5 Essentials to Getting Started with VLOOKUP

Download the file used in this video:

Getting Started With VLOOKUP.xlsx (432.7 KB)

VLOOKUP Essentials Guide - Excel Campus.pdf (405.5 KB)

Lookup Formulas Training Series

Video 1

Intro to VLOOKUP:
The 5 Must Know Essentials


What Are You Going To Use VLOOKUP For?

Please leave a comment below with your answer, and any questions.  Thanks!​


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  • I use V Look ups quite a lot for download of customer account information but did not exactly the vlook up explanation, the video was great as it explained what the vlookup is actually doing which helps with errors etc. Handy tips given in the videos

  • I have opened a lot of VLOOKUP video tutorials but never watched beyond 1 minute because it seems complicated. But you made it simple and easy to understand, I’ve watched it till the end and understand how VLOOKUP works. The comments help me understand more on where VLOOKUP can be used.

    I’m wondering if VLOOKUP can be use by a small retail store in entering a sale on real time.

  • Thank you for the video despite of being able to use vlookup formula before but I learned something new from this video. How to use tab and shortcut on adding new column on worksheet.

    Looking forward for second video on how to protect the formula

  • John this has been extremely informative! I’ve read books on Vlook up before but the video has finally made sense to me. I do have one question if you know what column the the answer is why do you expand Thanks,

    • Thank you Brian! That is a great question. In this case I included the Venti column in the Table Array (lookup range) because I might want to get the price for that column at some point. To do that, all I would have to do is change the column index number to 4. I would not need to take the extra step to expand the Table Array, because I already did so when I initially wrote the formula.

      We can also use other formulas for the column index number to make the vlookup formula more dynamic. This article, VLOOKUP & MATCH – A Dynamic DUO, contains an example of how to use the MATCH function for the column index number. With this setup we could have a cell that contains a drop-down list for the size. Selecting a size would automatically change the column index number to pull in the correct price column.

      The MATCH function is explained in detail in video #3 of this series. It can be used in combination with INDEX or VLOOKUP to create more dynamic formulas.

      Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks again!

  • I often re-import data after items have been changed/ added. To re-import I have to have the primary key and the users have removed it, so I concatenate names together then use a vlookup to get the primary keys.
    I have to teach other people how to use the function occasionally so I will be directing them to these videos as the explanations are clear concise and easy to understand.

  • Thanks Jon

    The presentation was great and helped me to refresh my memory on VLOOKUP function. Looking forward to the next one. Many thanks.


  • Hey Jon

    Great video, made Vlookup look easy and I love the additional tips (“ctrl+”, “TAB key” these I did not know). I use Vlookup for multiple tasks, Quotes, Invoices & Service forms Etc. I am looking forward to the next video as I believe Index & Match are a more powerful way to use the LOOKUP function.

    • Thanks John! I’m happy to hear you learned something new. INDEX & MATCH are definitely a powerful combo, and I will be explaining those in video #3. It should be available early next week.

  • I will be using vlookup formula to bring over data to an employee data list, ( to update a dept code with a department description), so I can create pivot tables and slicers.

  • Making sure everyone gets paid what they’re owed! LOL!
    Good video & I use it to train more people. This way they’ll know they’re not getting short changed & how to use the software.

  • I extract a lot of raw data sets and big data batches. Having the ability to effectively apply and understand the process of lookup formulas, will greatly help and save a whole lot of time. I will not have to go back to re-group or guess in order to extract the data needed, or wonder if I am doing it correctly the first time.

  • I use vlookup all the time to match list of customer and order to make sure customer do not miss the delivery.

    also, I use vlookup to fill stock available by brand every week to send to sales reps.

  • I work with large data and always need to pull information into summaries and dashboards. Need to build my confidence using the vlookup and other formulas to make my work better. The way you presented in the video has made my understanding so much better.

  • Great instructional video.

    I use vlookup for calculating employee life insurance premiums based on age and amount of premiums.

    thanks .

  • The Lotto numbers are random but when sorting and following the numbers I would like to use Vlookup on a professional way.

    Very interesting video, thanks

  • Very good video.

    I have used VLOOKUP for extracting data from one file to another file or from one worksheet to another worksheet for my team.

  • Values in excess of expected for hours worked by staff members? Not sure if this would be an appropriate or best way to highlight such data, but hope to display the results without further manipulation.

  • Really a good thing to make informed by you.
    Surely it’s a social obligation to have a work done smoothly.

  • This video finally made vlookup easy to understand and use. I will definitely use it now that I understand how to as I have been avoiding it as much as possible. It will make my job so much easier.

  • Great video. I use vlookup a lot already. I generate a price book and quote system which looks in a master file for model number and returns description, dimensions, price and miscellaneous information.
    Thanks for the help. I did not know but should have about the F4 trick and the Alt+ shortcut. Look forward to the next video because I frequently get the #N/A response.

  • Clear, understandable explanation of Vlookup. I use Vlookup all the time, but now I am looking forward to Index and Match!!! I like the CTRL + and F4.
    More is better……………….Thank you, Jon

  • I use the vlookup formula to bring over assessment data to connect it to student data so I can create pivot tables and slicers.

  • Excel-lent video! Although I don’t use VLOOKUP that much, I use the knowledge I learn from your (and other) videos when teaching my students MS Excel. I too, am a lover of Excel. Thanks for the work you do and the help you provide.

  • Generally speaking, I seldom use the VLOOKUP formula any more. I have always found it to be a little picky about how things are formatted. Once I learned about the INDEX / MATCH method, I was a convert!

  • Great video, Jon. It covered all the basics very well. It did not cover the shortcut use of 1 and 0 for the fourth parameter, which is a time saver for me. These numbers are not only shorter than true and false, but are harder to misspell!

    Also, the best takeaway for me was the use of the tab key to select a function from the selection that appears when you start typing the function. I DID NOT KNOW THAT!



  • Very good video! I now have a much better understanding of how to correctly write a vlookup formula. I have used the vlookup in the past but often my success was thru trial and error.

    Thank you for this great video.

  • I use vlookup formulas almost everyday in my work capacity. It is an essential tool for me to complete my work. But, I’m ready to become more advanced beyond the vlookup and want to explore new (Faster) ways to get to my results faster while maintaining accuracy. Thanks!

  • I use VLOOKUPS all the time. I often instruct others on how to use them and sometimes my words fail me. Therefore I am always on the outlook for a better way to “inform” the under-educated about the power of the VLOOKUP. Your presentation was great and I picked up some verbiage – thanks a lot.

  • Great explanation! Now I just have to figure out where these can make my life easier day to day. Also love the additional unrelated tips (“ctrl+”, “F4” how did I not know this?) added in.

  • Thank you for watching the first video! Please leave a comment with any questions about VLOOKUP, or let us know what you want to use VLOOKUP for.

    I will be sending the link to video #2 in just a few days. Thanks again!