How to Find a Value in Excel: Using the Lookup Function

Excel is a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing data. One of the most popular functions within Excel is the vlookup function, but it has some limitations. For example, it cannot look to the left to return information. In this tutorial, we will look at an alternative function called lookup that has the ability to look to the left and return information.

Let’s say you have a list of order IDs and you want to find the name of the salesperson who took each order. Using vlookup, this is not possible because it can only count to the right. However, with the lookup function, you can accomplish this task.

To use the lookup function, start by selecting the cell where you want the result to appear. Then, type “=lookup(” and press enter. You will see a pop-up window asking for information. The first argument is the lookup value, which is what you are trying to find. In our example, this is the order ID.

The next argument is the lookup vector, which is where the function should look for the value. In our example, this is the column containing the order IDs. Finally, the result vector is the column containing the information you want to return. In our example, this is the salesperson’s name.

Once you have entered these arguments, press enter and you will see the result. The lookup function has the ability to look to the left and return information, making it a more flexible alternative to vlookup.

While vlookup is still a useful function, it is important to know that there are alternative functions available in Excel that can accomplish different tasks. Depending on your needs, different functions may be more suitable. Hopefully, this tutorial has shown you how to use the lookup function to find a value in Excel.