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# Excel vLookup not working

Posted on 2013-12-11
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I'm stumped as to why C24 (and a few others in that set) does not work. it does seem to work if i use numbers instead of text.

I'm sure this should work with text.

Any help?

vlookup-test.xlsx
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Question by:tetrauk
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Accepted Solution

byundt earned 500 total points
ID: 39713045
For C24, you should be using a formula like:
=VLOOKUP(A24,PricingTable,IF(\$B\$24>10,3,IF(\$B\$24>5,4,5)),FALSE)

Your IF function had been referencing the wrong row (row 23). Also, the VLOOKUP should use FALSE as the last parameter because approximate matches for A24 are not acceptable--you want an exact match.
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 39713053
The locked reference for B23 was fine, that was deliberate, the sheet is not actually counting fruit in real life.

However i had misunderstood the last option, i thought the true was setting it to find exact matches only, but it appears that false does that.

This has been driving me nuts for an hour.......oh how i love and hate formulas!!!
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Author Comment

ID: 39713055
P.S. in what way is 'Melon' similar to 'Pear' how does Microsoft decide this!!!
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Expert Comment

ID: 39713068
Microsoft had to match what Lotus 123 did with their VLOOKUP. So the syntax is admittedly confusing.

TRUE means that the first column of the lookup table has been sorted in ascending order, and you do not require an exact match. VLOOKUP uses a binary search, so it is very fast. It is good for bracket pricing (or income tax calculations), where the first column of the lookup table lists the bottom of each bracket. Suppose the first two bracket bottoms are 0 and 5. If A24 equals 1, then VLOOKUP will return a value from the 0 row of the lookup table.

FALSE means that the first column of the lookup table has not been sorted. An exact match is required, so VLOOKUP searches each row of the lookup table (much slower than a binary search). For price lists, employment records and the like, this is the form of VLOOKUP that you would need.

While your remark about the similarity of Melon and Pear is right on point, VLOOKUP with TRUE would be used more appropriately with a lookup table like this:
Qty      Disc.      Bracket
0      0%      0 to 4
5      10%      5 to 9
10      15%      10 to 24
25      20%      25 to 99
100      25%      100 and over
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