Are you looking for an easy and efficient way to quickly merge two different spreadsheets in Excel? This article will guide you on how to perform a VLOOKUP in Excel with two spreadsheets and save you a lot of time!
How to Set Up Two Excel Spreadsheets for VLOOKUP
You can rock Excel like a pro! This skill can help you succeed in your career. VLOOKUP is its most useful tool for data analysis.
Let’s learn how to set up two Excel Spreadsheets for VLOOKUP. First, open the spreadsheets and make sure the formatting is correct. Wrong formatting makes it impossible to do the operation. So get your Excel sheets ready! Let’s start!
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by David Duncun
Open the spreadsheets and ensure proper formatting
Ensure both spreadsheets are formatted correctly. This means data in correct columns and rows, and no empty cells. Formatting should make it easy to read and understand.
Highlight data in both spreadsheets that will be used for VLOOKUP formula. Click on the cell at the top of each column and drag down until all cells have been selected.
Save spreadsheets as separate files for easy access.
Formatting must use consistent font styles throughout spreadsheet for uniformity. This allows users to assimilate information quickly and minimizes cognitive load.
For example, Anna had two spreadsheets to compare. She opened Excel and named the files. She used color-coded fonts specific to her needs. Green for profits, Red for losses, and Blue for break-even months. She hovered over columns with percentage values alongside revenue.
Now, learn the Basics of VLOOKUP and how the formula works step-by-step. This is essential to be able to use it effectively when dealing with datasets with multiple sheets or tabs.
The Basics of VLOOKUP: How to Create the Formula
I’m a frequent Excel user. VLOOKUP has been a lifesaver for me when I compare and analyze data from multiple sheets. Yet, beginners can find it tricky to master. So, I’m breaking the basics down and will explain how to make the formula step-by-step. I’ll talk about selecting the cell for the formula, inputting the lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, and range_lookup. By the end of this section, you’ll be able to confidently use VLOOKUP to get the data you need.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by David Arnold
Select the cell for the VLOOKUP formula
For VLOOKUP formula, these four steps should be followed:
- Click the cell you want to place the formula in.
- Start by typing “=” in the cell.
- Put “VLOOKUP(” after the equals sign.
- Enter arguments and hit “Enter” to complete the formula.
Be aware of where to put the cell for the formula. It can be anywhere on the worksheet, just not in the range of cells used for defining tables and ranges.
The cell selection is very important as it affects the entire worksheet setup. Thus, take time in knowing which cell value gives accurate results.
If the wrong cell is selected, unexpected results could occur due to referencing errors in formulas and functions in tables and ranges.
I have experienced this when I chose an incorrect cell for my VLOOKUP formula; my results were wrong until I checked my worksheet setup and modified my referenced cells.
Finally, let’s learn how to input lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, and range_lookup into our VLOOKUP formula.
Input lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, and range_lookup
Here’s a guide to using parameters correctly, in five steps:
- Figure out which data set your search criteria comes from.
- Open an Excel worksheet and select an empty cell for your query output.
- Enter a VLOOKUP formula in the cell:
=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, range_lookup).
- Substitute “lookup_val” with the criteria you need.
- Fill in the necessary input arguments while evaluating your chart array list.
When inputting, stay consistent. Keyboard shortcuts, like F4 and Ctrl+Shift double-clicking on cell borders, helps fill in reference ranges matching formulas used previously.
It’s important to include all information and make sure it’s formatted correctly (if applicable). Aligning multiple tables across spreadsheets is key.
In conclusion, VLOOKUP is useful for data sets. Users can fetch large amounts of sensitive information from multiple sheets without manual data entry when following guidelines.
If you neglect any of these parameters, VLOOKUP won’t give accurate results. Double-check your inputs before running your lookup to ensure you don’t miss out on essential data insights.
Next up is troubleshooting VLOOKUP for Excel. We’ll look at how to handle the most common issues users encounter when using this function.
Troubleshooting VLOOKUP for Excel
Do you use Excel? Have you ever had issues with VLOOKUP? It’s frustrating to spend hours and still get errors. So, let’s troubleshoot! We’ll check out common problems and how to fix them.
- First, we need to make sure data is compatible and sorted properly.
- Then, we’ll look at lookup_value and table_array ranges. These can be the source of VLOOKUP errors.
With these tips, you’ll be able to use VLOOKUP confidently in Excel spreadsheets – no hiccups!
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by David Washington
Ensure compatibility and proper sorting of data
Before using VLOOKUP formulas in Excel, it’s important to check for compatibility. This includes:
- Formatting the column or row containing the lookup value as the same data type as the value to be looked up.
- Ensuring all data entries are in the correct format, such as numbers, dates, and text.
- Removing any unnecessary spaces within cell values of both tables within an Excel workbook.
- Ensuring lookup_value and table_array ranges have compatible formats of data types, either number or text format.
It’s also essential to label tables without headers accurately. John had a problem with his VLOOKUP formula until he noticed spaces before each value in his sales revenue column. He then removed those spaces and the formulas worked correctly.
Sorting out the table arrays through columns/rows can help ensure information isn’t jumbled when looking for specific results or statistics.
Check the lookup_value and table_array ranges
To solve VLOOKUP problems in Excel, it’s key to check the lookup_value and table_array ranges. This means the value you search should be in the leftmost column of the table array and the range should include all the data you need.
For example, if we want to find the value “C,” the first column of the table array should be sorted alphabetically. If columns A and B are in the range, or if C is not sorted correctly, the lookup formula won’t work properly.
Also, the data range must include all the data needed. For instance, if we want to use VLOOKUP to find sales numbers by department, but the data is split between two spreadsheets, the lookup will only return partial results unless both sheets are included.
Once the lookup_value and table_array ranges are correct, you can focus on other VLOOKUP issues. I once assisted a colleague who had strange results while merging two sets of customer data with VLOOKUP. After examining the ranges, it was clear their data wasn’t sorted right and some cells were empty. Fixing these solved the problem.
We’ll now explore how to use VLOOKUP results for formulas, graphs, and more.
Using VLOOKUP Results for Formulas, Graphs, and More
Bored of manually typing data from one spreadsheet to another? VLOOKUP in Excel can help you save time and effort. But, did you know you can also add VLOOKUP results to formulas, charts and graphs? In this section, I’ll show you how to expand VLOOKUP results beyond simple table searches. Utilize VLOOKUP result in formulas to automate calculations and make your workflow smoother. Moreover, add VLOOKUP result to charts and graphs to create more captivating and insightful data visualisations.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Joel Jones
Utilize the VLOOKUP result in formulas
To learn to use VLOOKUP results in formulas, look at this table:
For example, to find the price of an orange, use this formula: =VLOOKUP(“Orange”, Sheet2!A1:B3,2,FALSE).
This gives a result of 1.00.
Then, to find the total cost of 5 oranges, use: =5*VLOOKUP(“Orange”, Sheet2!A1:B3,2,FALSE). This yields a result of $5.00.
VLOOKUP is great for data manipulation. It can be used in finance or market research. For instance, analysts use it to process raw data and make pricing recommendations.
VLOOKUP can be used in charts and graphs too. We’ll explore this next.
Incorporate VLOOKUP result into charts and graphs
- Step 1: Choose the chart or graph you want to update with the VLOOKUP result.
- Step 2: Click anywhere in the data range, including the cell with the VLOOKUP function. This will select all of your data.
- Step 3: Go to the Chart Tools tab, then select Design from the Ribbon menu.
- Step 4: In the Data group, click Select Data. A new window will open.
- Step 5: Under Legend Entries (Series), select Edit and type in a name for your series. For example, “Data with VLOOKUP“.
That’s it! Your chart or graph is now updated with the VLOOKUP results. Now you can make more informed decisions, whether for market research or financial analysis. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to use this simplification technique!
Taking VLOOKUP to the Next Level: Advanced Techniques
I’m always trying to upgrade my data analysis techniques, as an Excel enthusiast. We’ll take the VLOOKUP function to a higher level, with some advanced methods. These skills will allow you to examine your data more thoroughly and efficiently.
Let’s focus on three key advanced techniques for VLOOKUP. First, we’ll use wildcard characters to make sure our search is more accurate. Then, we’ll look at the IFERROR function, which solves lookup errors. Finally, the IFNA function helps us return particular values if no match is found. With these advanced methods, you’ll be a master of Excel data analysis in no time!
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Joel Woodhock
Use wildcard characters to improve lookup
Wildcard characters can make your VLOOKUP formulas more flexible. For instance, if you’re searching for “apple”, but some cells contain “apples” or “ApplE”, using an asterisk (*) can account for these variations and still return accurate results. Don’t overuse wildcard characters as it can lead to wrong results.
Once a colleague was having difficulty finding matches for a client name which changed often due to misspellings and punctuation. He combined internal logic tests and wildcard characters to get better results for his client.
Now, let’s learn about the IFERROR function, which can be used to solve errors within VLOOKUP formulas.
Solve errors using IFERROR function
When dealing with spreadsheets, errors like #N/A or #VALUE! can pop up. Excel has a built-in feature called IFERROR to help identify and fix these kinds of errors. Here are five ways you can use IFERROR:
- Mask error messages by replacing them with custom text, or leave them blank.
- Switch one type of error for another with IFERROR + ISNA/ISERR.
- Get results of zero instead of errors with IFERROR and the value you want returned.
- Handle nested formulas with multiple IFERROR statements.
- Use IFERROR in combination with VLOOKUP for more accurate outcomes.
Tip: Try to understand why errors are appearing. That way, you can avoid them in the first place!
Return values with IFNA function when no match is found
Want to use the IFNA function if no match is found? Here’s how:
- Choose the cell you want the result to appear in.
- Start your formula with
- Then put your VLOOKUP formula in the blank.
- Type a comma after the formula, followed by what you want returned if there’s no match.
- Enter “0” or “N/A” if you don’t know what to return.
- End the formula with a bracket and press enter.
IFNA is better than ISERROR because it only returns a result for “#N/A” errors.
Make sure both sheets are sorted properly for a quick and accurate lookup.
Also, double-check that all details (like case-sensitive text) are entered correctly.
IFNA can save you time and effort when dealing with incomplete datasets. Follow these steps and you’ll master this advanced technique in no time!
FAQs about How To Do A Vlookup In Excel With Two Spreadsheets
What is a VLOOKUP in Excel and how does it work?
A VLOOKUP is a function in Excel that allows you to search for a specific value in one column of a spreadsheet and return a related value from the same row in another column. This function is particularly useful when you need to consolidate data from multiple spreadsheets.
Can I use VLOOKUP to pull data from two different spreadsheets?
Yes, you can use VLOOKUP in Excel to retrieve data from multiple spreadsheets. To do this, you will need to specify the name of the spreadsheet and the cell range you are searching in your formula.
What information do I need to include in my VLOOKUP formula?
When using VLOOKUP in Excel with two spreadsheets, you will need to include the name of the spreadsheet, the cell range you are searching, the column you want to retrieve data from, and the criteria you are searching for.
What do I do if my VLOOKUP formula returns an error?
If your VLOOKUP formula returns an error, there are a few things you can check to troubleshoot the issue. Make sure that the cell range you specified is correct, that you have entered the correct criteria, and that the column you are referencing actually contains the data you are searching for.
Is it possible to use VLOOKUP to retrieve data from multiple columns?
Yes, it is possible to use VLOOKUP to retrieve data from multiple columns. To do this, you will need to enter separate VLOOKUP formulas for each column you want to retrieve data from.
Are there any alternatives to using VLOOKUP in Excel?
Yes, there are several alternative functions you can use in Excel to lookup and retrieve data. Some popular alternatives to VLOOKUP include INDEX/MATCH, HLOOKUP, and XLOOKUP.
Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist, author, and coder. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair.