How to Use the Index and Match functions instead of a Vlookup in Excel

This blog post will explore the Index and Match functions in Excel as part of the lookup and reference function categories. There is nothing wrong with the Vlookup unless you need to find a reference value that is further left than what you fetched (the lookup value). Vlookup only works if your data table has the lookup value in the leftmost column. In my example the country code  is to the right of the Country field. Check out my blog post on Vlookup and another video post here if you are not familiar with how to write a Vlookup formula. Below is a caption of the data this post will use. At the end of my blog post, you can download the Excel file yourself to practice along on your own. What we are trying to do

Country Lookup

In this example we will have Excel tell us what position down is 500 among the Code field. The Match function returns the relative position of an item in an array that matches a specified value in a specified order. Once we have that number, then we can nest the Match function inside of the Index function. Lookup Value: 500 Lookup Array: B2:B18. Use absolute referencing ($B$2:$B$22) or range names when you need to copy the formula. Match Type: Almost always 0 or false because you are looking up an exact match. This argument is similar to the match type argument of the Vlookup.

Match 5 return

The answer is 5 because it is the 5th position in the range of codes. Knowing 5 will be important because we can use it (Match value return) nested inside the Index function. The Index function returns a value or a reference of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column, in a given range. The Index function has two types of function arguments. This post will explore the first type which uses only 2 arguments.

Index multiple argument lists Index Arguments: Array: The range of cells where the return value will be found. Row_Num: A number that you want to go down to find. Col_Num: optional – alternative to the row number.

Index with 5 example

Use the Match function in the Row_Num argument. Example Using Index and Match together:

Index with match example Download this practice file here. View my PowerPoint slide deck with other examples of Match and Index here.

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Back up Your Pictures with OneDrive [Video]

I’m excited to share with you a video demo on how I back up and view my pictures using  my Microsoft OneDrive account.

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Download my Shortcut Cheat Sheets

Click the Portfolio Keyboard shortcuts link to download my entire collection of keyboard shortcuts.

Please note that you will need an updated version of Adobe flash to view the content. If you can’t get the link to download, then you can alternatively click “shortcuts” on the right side bar category list. I have the same shortcuts listed by separate posts.

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Make a Baseball Schedule Easier to Read in Excel with Conditional Formatting [Video]

Opening Day for the Reds season is Monday! In honor of this great tradition, I created a video that uses conditional formatting in an Excel  which makes the spreadsheet easier to read.


Feel free to download the example file below.

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Fill in Blank Cells with the Values Above in an Excel List [Video]

This video shares a cool trick for Excel lists. Sometimes when you import an Excel file you get blank values that need to be filled in. This video will share with you how to save time in accomplishing the tasks.
fill in blanks excel

Video below:

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Create Hidden and Visible Sections in an InfoPath Form [Video]

This video post will share with you the tricks to making an InfoPath form have sections that appear when needed. You can use conditional formatting to hide a section until an a value is entered in the form.

hidden infopath forms

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Using Excel’s GETPIVOTDATA formula to build a report outside of a Pivot Table [Video]

This video post will share with you an Excel trick on using the GetPivotData formula.

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