##Key Takeaway:

## Key Takeaway:

- The LOOKUP function is an essential tool in Excel for finding and retrieving data based on key values.
- When key values match exactly, the LOOKUP function can be used to quickly and easily retrieve the associated data
- If key values don’t match exactly, alternative functions like VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP can be used to find the closest match

Are you feeling overwhelmed trying to differentiate between two rows with identical values in Excel? Learning how to look up names in such cases can be the perfect solution for you. Grab your cup of coffee and let’s dive into this tutorial to understand the process better.

### Understanding the Syntax of the LOOKUP Function

To effectively use the **LOOKUP function** in Excel, it’s vital to understand its syntax. Syntax is the format needed for a function to work properly.

Below is a table that describes the components of the **LOOKUP function’s syntax**:

Component | Description |
---|---|

lookup_value |
The value to look up in your table. Can be actual value, cell ref or range. |

lookup_vector |
Table or array containing data. Must be in ascending or descending order. |

result_vector |
Array with values corresponding to the lookup vector. |

[match_type] |
Optional arg to tell Excel if you want an exact or approximate match. |

There are two versions of LOOKUP: Vector mode and Array mode. Vector needs two arguments and Array needs three.

By understanding the syntax of **LOOKUP**, you can correctly structure your formulas. This helps ensure they’ll work as intended.

Mastering **LOOKUP** can give you many benefits. With a strong grasp of its syntax, you can quickly and accurately analyze data in Excel.

Now let’s explore **Understanding the Purpose of the LOOKUP Function**.

### Understanding the Purpose of the LOOKUP Function

The **LOOKUP Function**? What’s that? Let’s explore! It’s used to find a value in one range of cells and return a corresponding value from another. No need to scan through rows manually!

Let’s make a table to show its main features. The columns are: Feature, Definition, Example. Feature lists different uses (e.g., **VLOOKUP**, **HLOOKUP**). Definition explains each feature. Example demonstrates how each feature works with real data.

Feature | Definition | Example |
---|---|---|

VLOOKUP |
Used when exact match is required between lookup and reference range. Looks for the value in the first column of the range and returns the value in the same row from the specified column. | Looking up a customer’s contact information based on their unique ID number in a customer database. |

HLOOKUP |
Similar to VLOOKUP but searches for the value in the first row of the range and returns the value in the same column from the specified row. | Finding a product’s price based on its unique product ID in a price list. |

The LOOKUP Function can be used in many scenarios. If identical key values, but different corresponding values, use LOOKUP (approximate match) or VLOOKUP (exact match). To search across rows or columns, use HLOOKUP (horizontal lookup).

The history of the LOOKUP Function dates back to 1979 with the VisiCalc spreadsheet program. Microsoft Excel later improved it and it’s now widely used.

We’ll also explore using the LOOKUP Function when dealing with key values that match exactly. Extra steps needed to ensure accurate results.

## Using the LOOKUP Function When Key Values Match Exactly

Searching for names in Excel can be tough. Especially when the key values are the same. Doing it manually takes lots of time, and can cause mistakes. Good thing that the **LOOKUP function** in Excel is here to help. In this section, I’ll tell you all about using the LOOKUP function for **exact matches**, and how to use it when **an approximate match** is needed. By the end, you’ll be confident using the LOOKUP function to speed up your Excel tasks.

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by David Woodhock*

### Applying the LOOKUP Function for an Exact Match

Using the **LOOKUP function for exact matches** is easy! Just follow these **5 simple steps**:

- Pick the cell you’d like the result to appear in.
- Type =LOOKUP(, then select the lookup value cell.
- After that, include a comma and select the range of cells with the reference data.
- Put another comma, then select the range of cells containing the desired results.
- End the formula with ) and press Enter.

Keep in mind that all key values must match exactly. Any minor discrepancies can cause errors. Additionally, **the LOOKUP function only works with sorted arrays or tables**.

To guarantee accurate results, double-check the data for any typos. Also, use conditional formatting or other tools to spot differences between key values.

In conclusion, applying the LOOKUP function for an **exact match can help quickly pull info from large data sets in Excel**.

Stay tuned for more information on *Applying the LOOKUP Function for an Approximate Match!*

### Applying the LOOKUP Function for an Approximate Match

The **LOOKUP** function in Excel can be used to retrieve data from a specific row or column – but it’s best for **exact values**. To use it for *approximate matches*, follow these steps:

- Open the Excel spreadsheet with the data.
- Click the cell for the lookup formula.
- Type “=LOOKUP(lookup_value,array)” and press enter.
- Replace “lookup value” with the cell reference of the value you want to look up.
- Replace “array” with a range of cells that contain the values you want to look up.
- Press enter again and it should return a value if there is an approximate match.

When using this method for approximate matches, remember that it requires sorting of either ascending or descending order. Excel will scan through rows and return the last occurrence based on arranged data.

But there are some rules and limitations. The LOOKUP function only works when **data is sorted correctly**. And if there are *multiple matching values, it will only return the first match*.

Jane was tasked with organizing annual scores from a local tennis tournament. She had ten sheets of data showing age brackets and players’ names. Her LOOKUP formula wasn’t returning correct scores for 4 players. After research, she realized that the age brackets were not sorted and had to do it correctly for her LOOKUP function to work.

**Using the LOOKUP Function When Key Values Don’t Match Exactly**

Let’s explore how to use the LOOKUP function when **key values don’t match exactly** in Excel.

## Using the LOOKUP Function When Key Values Don’t Match Exactly

Are you an Excel user? Have you ever been in a situation where you need to search for names, but the key values don’t match exactly? It can be hard to do this manually, especially if you have a lot of data. Lucky you! Microsoft Excel has a **LOOKUP** function to help. We’ll look at two parts of the LOOKUP function – using the **VLOOKUP** function for an exact match and using the **HLOOKUP** function for an approximate match. These functions are great for saving time and making your work easier when you have large datasets.

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Joel Jones*

### Applying the VLOOKUP Function for an Exact Match

When you use the **VLOOKUP** function, it’s essential to make sure the key values are the same. If not, the formula won’t work properly. But, there are ways to use the VLOOKUP even when exact matches aren’t possible.

To ensure an exact match, you can use a unique ID or code for each item on the list. This way, there won’t be any duplicates and each item will have its own identifier.

You can also use the **CONCATENATE** function to join multiple cells into one value. For example, if you have first and last names in separate cells, you can join them into a full name to use as the lookup value.

The **TRIM** function can be used to remove extra characters or spaces from the data before using it as a lookup value. This ensures the key values match precisely.

**INDEX MATCH** is another option. This formula allows more flexibility in matching data and can be used for exact and approximate matches.

Lastly, consider a **pivot table** if you’re dealing with lots of data. It’s easier to filter and sort and can provide more accurate results than regular lookup formulas.

In conclusion, using the VLOOKUP for an exact match needs careful consideration of your key values. Unique identifiers, concatenate functions, TRIM functions, indexing or pivoting tables can help you get successful exact matches between your data set.

Now, we’ll look at how to use **HLOOKUP** when approximate matches are needed.

### Applying the HLOOKUP Function for an Approximate Match

To show how **HLOOKUP** can be used for an approximate match in Excel, let’s look at a data set of cities’ average temperatures. We want to find the closest temperature to 75°F in any given month.

City | Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr | May |
---|---|---|---|---|---|

LA | 65 | 67 | 68 | 70 | 72 |

NY | 30 | 35 | 45 | 60 | 70.5 |

Miami | 75.5 | 76 | 78 | 80 | – |

In this table, we can see that Miami has recorded temperatures above 75°F, making it tough to use exact match functions like **VLOOKUP** or **INDEX MATCH**. Therefore, we can use the approximate match function, **HLOOKUP**.

When we use HLOOKUP and put TRUE as its third argument, it finds a value equal to or less than our projected temperature and returns that row’s cell. In this example, running =HLOOKUP(75,$B$1:$F$3,3,TRUE) will return cell D3 with value “78”.

Let’s look at an example. Suppose a sales team has to meet 5 new customers per month. To track their performance, we need to count only distinct customers – this needs some approximation as two reps could visit the same person in different months.

Now, let’s explore how the **LOOKUP** function can be used to match names when key values are the same.

## Examples of Using the LOOKUP Function for Identical Key Values

**LOOKUP** function for Excel? Super helpful! But what if you have exact same keys in your data set? Here’s the scoop: we’ll check out a few examples of using **LOOKUP** with two and multiple columns. Get ready to gain the knowledge to face these Excel obstacles with calmness.

*Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Adam Washington*

### Example of the LOOKUP Function with Two Columns

The “**Example of the LOOKUP Function with Two Columns**” showcases how the LOOKUP function can be used in Excel when the same key values are present. We will create a table to show this.

The first column will contain names: **John, Sarah, Michael and Emily**. The second column will have identification numbers: **1234, 5678, 9101 and 1213**.

The formula for this is **=LOOKUP(lookup_value,array)**. The lookup_value is the identification number being looked up. The array is the range of cells with the data (names and identification numbers).

For instance, if we want to look up the name for the identification number **5678**, the formula would be **=LOOKUP(5678,B2:B5,A2:A5)**. **5678** is the lookup value and **A2:A5 and B2:B5** are the range of cells for names and identification numbers respectively.

Remember: For the LOOKUP function to work with identical key values, both columns should be in ascending order.

Next we have “**Example of the LOOKUP Function with Multiple Columns**“.

### Example of the LOOKUP Function with Multiple Columns

The **Example of the LOOKUP Function with Multiple Columns** clearly shows how to use lookup when multiple columns are present. In a table of student grades and their subjects, we can use this function to find out a student’s grade for a particular subject.

Let’s consider an example:

We have a table like this:

Student Name | Subject | Grade |
---|---|---|

Alex | Maths | 90 |

Alex | Science | 85 |

Bob | Maths | 80 |

Bob | Science | 95 |

Say, we want to know Alex’s Science grade. We can use the formula **=LOOKUP(2,1/($A$2:$A$5=”Alex”)*($B$2:$B$5=”Science”),$C$2:$C$5)** Here, “Alex” is in column A, “Science” is in column B and the grade is in column C.

This formula looks for “Alex” and “Science” in columns A and B respectively, then returns the grade from column C, which is 85.

We can use this formula to search any other grade of any other student in any other subject. It’s vital to note that the formula only works if there are same values in multiple columns.

It’s recommended to sort the data first. This makes it easier to identify duplicates or mistakes. Additionally, make sure that you have formatted the data in tables, since lookup functions require tables as input.

With these tips, it’s easy to move through large datasets with equal key values in multiple columns.

### Summary of Key Points for Using the LOOKUP Function with Identical Key Values

**Always sort your data in ascending order** when using LOOKUP with identical key values. This ensures the first match is the closest to what you are searching for.

**Understand that with identical keys, you may get two different outcomes.** If your query matches exactly, the corresponding value from the row will be returned. Otherwise, an interpolation between two rows whose keys surround the query will be returned.

If you wish to avoid interpolation entirely and retrieve an exact match, use VLOOKUP instead of LOOKUP. VLOOKUP’s *‘range_lookup’* parameter allows you to specify whether interpolation should be used or not.

**Ensure there are no blank cells within the data ranges** when interpolation is being performed. Blank cells can lead to unexpected results.

**Finally, use named ranges** for easier identification and selection of data ranges within formulas. To create a named range: select cells -> click Formulas tab -> Define Name -> give a name -> press OK.

## Five Facts About Looking Up Names When Key Values Are Identical in Excel:

**✅ Looking up names when key values are identical in Excel is known as a VLOOKUP function.***(Source: Microsoft)***✅ VLOOKUP searches for a specified value in the first column of a range of cells, and returns a value from another cell in the same row of the range.***(Source: Excel Easy)***✅ VLOOKUP is useful for organizing large amounts of data, such as customer information and sales data.***(Source: GoSkills)***✅ VLOOKUP can be combined with other functions, such as IF and COUNTIF, to provide more advanced data analysis.***(Source: Excel Campus)***✅ Although VLOOKUP is a powerful tool, it can also have limitations, such as difficulty handling incomplete or incorrect data.***(Source: ExcelJet)*

## FAQs about Looking Up Names When Key Values Are Identical In Excel

### What is the purpose of looking up names when key values are identical in Excel?

Looking up names when key values are identical in Excel can help you find specific information in a large dataset quickly and efficiently. Instead of scrolling through dozens or even hundreds of rows, you can use Excel’s lookup functions to search for the exact information you need.

### What are some common lookup functions in Excel?

Some common lookup functions in Excel include VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, INDEX/MATCH, and XLOOKUP (for newer versions of Excel). These functions allow you to search for specific values in a table and return the corresponding value in another column or row.

### How do I use VLOOKUP to look up names when key values are identical in Excel?

To use VLOOKUP, you’ll need to define the lookup value (the key value you’re searching for), the table array (the range of cells where your data is stored), the column index number (the column where the data you want to return is located), and the range lookup (either TRUE or FALSE, depending on whether you want an exact or approximate match). For example, if you want to look up a name in column A and return the corresponding ID number in column B, you would use the formula “=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, 2, FALSE)”.

### What is INDEX/MATCH and how is it different from VLOOKUP?

INDEX/MATCH is another lookup function in Excel, but it works differently than VLOOKUP. Instead of specifying the column index number like you do in VLOOKUP, INDEX/MATCH uses the MATCH function to find the position of the lookup value in the table array, and then uses the INDEX function to return the value in a specified column. This can be useful when you need to look up values in large datasets with multiple columns.

### How can I ensure that my lookup values are unique?

Before using a lookup function in Excel, it’s important to ensure that your lookup values are unique. If there are duplicates in your data, your lookup function may return the wrong value or cause errors. One way to prevent duplicates is to use Excel’s Remove Duplicates feature, which allows you to quickly identify and delete any duplicate values in your dataset.

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Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist, author, and coder. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair.