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Excel VLookup Problem

Posted on 2011-03-05
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am preparing a cost estimate in Excel 2010, and have also created a table with a set of cost rates for each item.
In the rates column in the cost estimate, I have used a vlookup function to insert the rate for the corresponding item.  Its all working OK except for 2 items 'DLH' and 'LDE'.  I get #N/A for those items.  Have checked using same value category (eg text), and typing exactly same text. But still not resolved.  If I change item description to say 'xxx', the problem goes and the corresponding rate appears.  Seems to not like anything that starts with 'D'.
Hope someone can help
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Question by:gh_user
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13 Comments
 
LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35044602
Can I see the file? Remember that Vlookup needs exact text. If the lookup value has even a small space, it will give you an error.

Sid
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Author Comment

by:gh_user
ID: 35044691
Thanks
Here is file.
Abbreviation LD causing problem as can be seen.
For data logger, wanted to use DL, but same problem.  So have shown as x1 at the moment. Price-Est.xls
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LVL 30

Accepted Solution

by:
SiddharthRout earned 500 total points
ID: 35044698
Change the formula to

=VLOOKUP(C43,Rates,5,0)

and now try it.

Sid
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35044700
Updated it for the entire column. Sample File Attached.

Sid
Price-Est.xls
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Author Comment

by:gh_user
ID: 35044753
Thanks..that works...what did adding the '0' do to the formula?
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35044768
The syntax of Vlookup is

VLOOKUP(lookup_value,table_array,col_index_num,range_lookup)

Where Range_lookup is a logical value that specifies whether you want VLOOKUP to find an exact match or an approximate match. Here is an extract from Excel's Help.

Range_lookup  A logical value that specifies whether you want VLOOKUP to find an exact match or an approximate match:

If TRUE or omitted, an exact or approximate match is returned. If an exact match is not found, the next largest value that is less than lookup_value is returned.
The values in the first column of table_array must be placed in ascending sort order; otherwise, VLOOKUP may not give the correct value. For more information, see Sort data.

If FALSE, VLOOKUP will only find an exact match. In this case, the values in the first column of table_array do not need to be sorted. If there are two or more values in the first column of table_array that match the lookup_value, the first value found is used. If an exact match is not found, the error value #N/A is returned.

HTH

Sid



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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35044775
I forgot to mention that you may either use 0 or FALSE which is basically the same.

Sid
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:wellous
ID: 35044786
Thanks Sid,and gh
Here is the file , fully updated :)
Brgds,
Wellous
copyPrice-Est.xls
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Author Closing Comment

by:gh_user
ID: 35045195
Very quick response also.
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35046843
If you're using 2010, you may as well make use of it's functions...

=IFERROR(VLOOKUP(C8,Rates,5,0),"Error")

This will take care of anything where there is no value found in your lookup table (i.e. Rates).  If you're worried about backwards compatibility, you'll need a slightly longer, slower formula...

=IF(ISNA(VLOOKUP(C8,Rates,5,0)),"Error",VLOOKUP(C8,Rates,5,0))

HTH
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Author Comment

by:gh_user
ID: 35048297
Thanks HTH
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35048310
Sorry, HTH means Hope This Helps.  My name is Zack (I should have put that in there!).  :)
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Author Comment

by:gh_user
ID: 35048348
Doppy me...thanks firefytr
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