LOOKUP value when range of values is not sorted or in order in Excel

Posted on 2011-02-28
Last Modified: 2012-05-11

What is the best way to look up a value in an Excel (2007) spreadsheet when the range containing the value cannot be sorted and/or contains a variety of different types of entries (text, numbers, etc.)?

I have tried several different things but I keep getting #REF! as the result.

Question by:Steve_Brady
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 2

Expert Comment

ID: 35003000
use vlookup() or match() . . .
vlookup() with the last parameter as a zero (or false)...
LVL 50

Accepted Solution

barry houdini earned 500 total points
ID: 35003003
Hello Steve,

What do you want to do when the value is found? A standard VLOOKUP with FALSE as the last argument doesn't require anything to be sorted. For example to lookup A2 in C2:C10 and return the corresponding value from D2:D10


A2 must match in terms of format, e.g. if A2 is a text formatted number then the match in column C must also be text-formatted etc.

regards, barry

Expert Comment

ID: 35003008

or if you only want to see the row where it is...

Author Comment

ID: 35158092
Thanks for the responses.

>>A2 must match in terms of format, e.g. if A2 is a text formatted number then the match in column C must also be text-formatted etc.

Yes, I tried =VLOOKUP but had the same problem.  However, I wasn't aware of the requirement to match formatting.  That was the problem.

Thanks Barry!

Featured Post

Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Workbook link problems after copying tabs to a new workbook? David Miller (dlmille) Intro Have you either copied sheets to a new workbook, and after having saved and opened that workbook, you find that there are links back to the original sou…
Do you use a spreadsheet like Microsoft's Excel?  Have you ever wanted to link out to a non excel file on your computer or network drive?  This is the way I found to do it!
This Micro Tutorial demonstrates using Microsoft Excel pivot tables, how to reverse engineer competitors' marketing strategies through backlinks.
This Micro Tutorial will demonstrate in Microsoft Excel how to add style and sexy appeal to horizontal bar charts.

695 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question