Richard Schollar: VLOOKUP Left!


Richard Schollar provides this guest post. Richard is an Excel MVP from the U.K.  When I saw the title of Richard’s post, I figured he was going to use INDEX/MATCH, but Richard really uses VLOOKUP!

How do you use a VLOOKUP if your table data holds the lookup value in a column to the right of the data column you want to return?

We’ve all had this problem – you want to use VLOOKUP but your data is ‘round the wrong way’:

You have the ID, you want to return the Description.  A normal VLOOKUP won’t work as you can’t use a negative column:

One alternative is to use INDEX/MATCH e.g.:

But wouldn’t it be cool to be able to use VLOOKUP?  But we can’t though, can we?  Sure we can, if we make use of the CHOOSE function:

That formula in G2 is:

That formula is =VLOOKUP(F2,CHOOSE({1,2},$C$2:$C$7,$A$2:$A$7),2,False)

How it…

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