Vlookup is a function to lookup up and retrieve data in a table. The "V" in VLOOKUP stands for vertical, which means the data in the table must be arranged vertically, with data in rows.

(For Horizontally structure data see HLOOKUP)

If you have a well-structured table,
with information arranged vertically, and a column on the left which you can
use to match a row, you can probably use VLOOKUP.

To use VLOOKUP, you supply 4 pieces
of information, or "arguments":

The value you are looking for (lookup_value)

The range of cells that make up the table (table_array)

The number of the column from which to retrieve a
result (column_index)

The match mode (range_lookup, TRUE =
approximate, FALSE = exact

This means that VLOOKUP can only get
data from columns to the right of first column in the table. When lookup
values appear in the first (leftmost) column, this limitation doesn't mean
much, since all other columns are already to the right. However, if the lookup
column appears inside the table somewhere, you'll only be able to lookup values
from columns to the right of that column. You'll also have to supply a smaller
table to VLOOKUP that starts with the lookup column.

VLOOKUP USES APPROXIMATE MATCH BY DEFAULT

Exact and approximate matching in
VLOOKUP is controlled by the 4th argument, called "range lookup".
This name is not intuitive, so you'll just have to memorize how it works.

For exact match, use FALSE or 0. For
approximate match, set range_lookup to TRUE or 1:

=VLOOKUP(value,table,column,TRUE) //
approximate match

=VLOOKUP(value,table,column,FALSE)// exact match

VLOOKUP USES EXACT MATCH

To force VLOOKUP to find an exact
match, make sure to set the 4 argument (range_lookup) to FALSE or zero. These
two formulas are equivalent:

=VLOOKUP(value, data, column, FALSE)

=VLOOKUP(value, data, column, 0)

To use VLOOKUP in approximate match
mode, either omit the 4th argument (range_lookup) or supply it as TRUE or 1.
These 3 formulas are equivalent: