# Enter Values And Formulas As A Label In A Worksheet Microsoft Excel VLOOKUP Function – Looking Up Values in an MS Excel Database or Table

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## Microsoft Excel VLOOKUP Function – Looking Up Values in an MS Excel Database or Table

Consider a simple spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel, which contains a table of data in columns A through C as follows:

• Column A – unique employee number of an employee
• Column B – Their names
• Column C – Their Salary

Assume that there are 99 people in the table (ie, taking into account the column headings, the table ends at row 100). You want to find out someone’s salary, but you only have their employee numbers. How can you do this using an Excel function?

The answer is to look up the person details in a lookup table (such as a table with people’s names and employee numbers), and return the value in the third column, making sure you specify that only one exact match is sufficient.

To see how this works, suppose you enter a cell E1 An employee number (let’s say it’s 12345), and a cell F1 You enter the following formula:

=VLOOKUP(E1,A1:C100,3,FALSE)

Four arguments are used here; Here’s what each one does (an argument is any information you pass to a function in round brackets):

• E1 – This is the number of employees we want to find in the table
• A1:C100 – This is the table in which we are looking for the number of employees. For a working schedule, what we are looking for is (number of employees here) should do Stay in the first column of the lookup table.
• 3 – the column we returned (here it is the value in the third column of the table: i.e. salary)
• FALSE – This means we have to make an exact match. If you do not specify this, then Excel may decide that it has found 12344, and that it is close enough with disastrous results. Many people decide to type FALSE takes too long, and use 0 instead (which has the same effect).

That’s one use of the Excel VLOOKUP function: to return a value for a specific field in a database. Another use is when we want to search for a value in a range, but that’s a topic for another article.

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