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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  • Right now, everything I am trying to learn on Excel I am not using. I am a hands on person and if I don’t actually use it I don’t remember it and it doesn’t do me a lot of good. But I did mostly understand your video. Do you know of any sites that have exercises or hands on? Don’t like to just watch and read. Thank you

  • I work for a healthcare system and love VLOOKUP since I used to bring data into Access or SQL and usually doing that was overkill. So how do I use it?

    Most of the standard downloads I receive contain ID’s that have the descriptions in what our software vendor calls dictionaries (i.e. mapping tables). That being said, here are just a few of the ways I use it:

    I have a monthly report that contains a field with the code assigned to the Attending Physician. I download the ‘Doctor Dictionary’, put it on a separate worksheet and then use VLOOKUP to report out the full name of the physician.

    I also produce several scorecards with multiple indicators\measures listed and each one has a goal that will results in “FAILS, MEETS, EXCEEDS or STRETCH”. Each indicator has different goal values and I want the main report to automatically display the status of the goal along with other information depending on the scorecard. I tried Conditional Formatting, but it started getting too complex with having to check four (4) possible outcomes. So I created a worksheet that contains ‘mini-tables’ with all of the goal levels. I then use VLOOKUP with these tables and the values automatically update each month when I enter new data.

    Sorry for being so verbose, but thank you Jon for all of your Excel resources. I have learned so many time saving ‘tricks’ from excelcampus.com. Excel has come a long way since version 3.0 (the first version I used when in college). 🙂


  • I was fiddling around with a truckers mileage chart for mileage between various cities. This chart had 1001 cities which made for a very large worksheet. I first created drop down boxes that represented “From” and “To.” The total range of the worksheet is A1:ALM1001. Huge worksheet. To find the distance, I used this VLOOKUP formula: =VLOOKUP($A$1004,A1:ALM1001,701,FALSE)

    The absolute value for the first argument is the drop down value (city) of the starting point. The range is obvious, but the column number was difficult. So I numbered each column in row 1002. All I had to do was “Find” the city I was heading to and go to the bottom of that column for the column number. Then, of course, I wanted an exact match.

    My goal was to use Drop Down lists with a VLOOKUP formula. Still would like to find a way of quickly finding the column number without having to use the find feature, but considering how large this worksheet is, it still works like a charm.

  • I watched the video to see how vlookup can be used since I have never used it before. Not sure yet how I will use it with the present spreadsheets I have.

  • Very good quick explanation of vlookup. I will to use it to for electrical conduit sizing based on the fill area of wires I plan to install in the conduit.

  • I have 1 column of #’s and 1 column of text
    Line # Description

    1.04 1.04 – Bank Charges
    1.05 1.05 – Children Evangelism Fellowship (6%)
    1.06 1.06 – Childrens Bible Activity
    1.10 1.10 – Cold Springs Valley Fund
    1.15 1.15 – Crisis Pregnacy Fund (8%)
    1.20 1.20 – Compassion International
    1.30 1.30 – Sierra Babptist Association (2%)
    1.35 1.35 – Nevada Baptist Convention (5%)
    1.45 1.45 – Mission Expenses

    I want to be able to type in a cell a # and return text into a different cell.
    enter 1.35 and return 1.35 – Nevada Baptist Convention (5%)

    I have tried everything can you offer a little help?

  • I use VLOOKUP to simplify large data which is used to find multiple results in numerous spreadsheets. I am constantly trying to improve my understanding of EXCEL and make it simpler for me to obtain data results.

  • using a project work task I want to first find the name of the person undertaking each task and then selectthe hours that person spent on the task this period

  • This is so helpful, within an hour now I do understand the basic of vlookup, this will be very useful as I am working with a lot of data at work. I am looking forward to learn more.

  • On a daily basis there are changes in the values I monitor. I want to know what changes occurred when I look at the spreadsheet the next day. Can vlookup assist or make this task manageable rather than me manually checking for 294 cells?

  • I will use VLookUp for finding a location number in extensive data. I need to locate this number to identify the parent project and to ensure the Contractor is not charging duplicates. VLookUp would be used extensively on a daily basis.

  • This seems so simple, I wonder why I’ve put this off for so long! This will be very useful with the data I work with and finding information within multiple columns and rows. I am looking forward to more learning, thanks Jon, I like your style and pace.

  • Thanks Jon, very well explained. I have used this before but the tips are really great. Little tricks which go a long way! Use it for most of our reports to look up a specific HR record

  • I use it in grading sheets, where the final grade depends on grades of each prior class. But once I understand index and match, I prefer that.

  • Good information and well presented.
    Looking forward to the next two videos as I need the more advanced information on handling the errors and the Index and Match functions.
    Thanks a lot!

  • HI All
    Not sure if this will get to someone that can help me
    But ill try
    I have a workbook with lots of formulas that is all going well called Comp Scores
    I have 4 macros that are working well, I recorded the macros in the prelim part worksheet and copied all the formulas to the other 5 worksheets these other 5 worksheets are called different names everything copies over well. I tried to run the macros in the other worksheets and it won’t work the same as the Prelim Part the sort part of the macro does not complete the macro section keeps referring to Prelim Part (ActiveWorkbook.Worksheets(“Prelim Part”).Sort.SortFields.Clear

    I am at my whits end to find out why I am a kind off learner when it comes to macros and VBA

    The workbook is for a horse riding club for scoring at competitions and has 5 different levels so thats why I need 5 worksheets all with the same formulars

    I really hop some one can help me I have studied a lot of the Excel Campus videos

    Just an incredible job to do all that information

    So hop someone can help


    Regards Andrew Simms

    From Australia

  • Jon, this introduction video to Lookups was concise and so helpful I really appreciate all the work you put into your content! Please keep it up. Looking forward to the 2nd video!

    • I want vlookup to help me get better control over 3 Businesses with many Sheets of data which grow Month by Month , Year by Year …..

  • For some reason, I seem to get brain fog when it comes to learning v-lookups.

    Thank you so much for the clarity in video 1; I will definitely use v-lookup when the occasion arises.

    Thank you so much!

  • I will use Vlookup to work out which of my site staff are using a certain application of site report forms

  • To lookup a users id number in one worksheet using an email address as the key. I want to end up with email address and user id number in the same worksheet on the same row.