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Excel Tip: Use Index Or Match Instead Of Vlookup Or Hlookup.

Karthik Dale
30/05/2017 0 0


In today's Excel topic we will see how Index & Match function is superior than Vlookup/Hlookup.

With Index and Match, the return value need not be in the same column as the lookup column, unlike VLOOKUP where the return value has to be in the specified range. How does this matter? With VLOOKUP, you have to know the column number that contains the return value. While this sounds like no big deal, it can be cumbersome when you have a large table and have to count the number of columns. Also, if you were to add/remove a in your table, you have to recount and update the col_index_num argument. With Index and Match, no counting is required as the lookup column is different from the column that has the return value.

With Index and Match, you can specify either a row or a column in an array or even specify both. This means you can look up values both vertically and horizontally.

Index and Match can be used to lookup values in any column. Unlike VLOOKUP where you can only look up to a value in the first column in a table, Index and Match will work if your lookup value is in the first column, the last, or anywhere in between.

Index and Match offers the flexibility of making dynamic reference to the column which contains the return value. What this means is that you can add columns to your table and INDEX and MATCH will not break. On the other hand, VLOOKUP breaks if you had to add a column to the table as it makes a static reference to the table.

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