Introduction to Microsoft Excel VLOOKUP

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Course Description

Join Microsoft Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA, as he introduces several lookup functions, including VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, MATCH, and CHOOSE. These powerful Excel functions allow you to rapidly develop accurate spreadsheets and look up information—such as pay rates, item prices, and accounting results—versus manually linking to specific cells. David explains the context of when to use lookup functions, demonstrates troubleshooting techniques, and prepares you to deal with subtle issues that can prevent them from working properly.

David demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in the Office 365 version of Excel. David draws your attention to any differences in the older versions of Excel (2019, 2016, 2013, and earlier) during the presentation as well as in his detailed handouts. David also provides an Excel workbook that includes most of the examples he uses during the course.

Office 365 is a subscription-based product that provides new-feature updates as often as monthly. Conversely, the perpetual licensed versions of Excel have feature sets that don’t change. Perpetual licensed versions have year numbers, such as Excel 2019, Excel 2016, and so on.

Topics covered:

  • Simplifying multiple-field lookups with concatenation (combining fields into a single cell).
  • Implementing Data Validation to ensure users make choices that VLOOKUP will recognize as valid.
  • Using VLOOKUP to look up data from another workbook.
  • Exploring why VLOOKUP sometimes returns #N/A instead of a desired result.
  • Improving the integrity of spreadsheets with Excel’s VLOOKUP function.
  • Utilizing Excel’s IFERROR function to display alternate values when VLOOKUP returns an error.
  • Seeing how the HLOOKUP function enables you to perform horizontal matches.
  • Comparing the MIN, SMALL, MAX, and LARGE functions.

Learning objectives:

  • Apply the VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP functions.
  • Define how to improve spreadsheet integrity with Excel’s VLOOKUP function.
  • Recall how to use the MATCH worksheet function to identify differences between two lists.

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