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Lookup Formulas and Functions

Excel’s ability to look up data offers significant power to Excel users. You’ll find examples and ideas here to improve your own Excel work.

We compare Excel's five columnar lookup functions.

XLOOKUP vs VLOOKUP vs INDEX-MATCH vs SUMIFS

SUMIFS? Really? Why is SUMIFS included among those lookup methods? I'll explain in a few minutes. But first, let's look at the lookup methods shown in...
This Excel table shows the top and bottom five results, with charts that show the most recent three month trends. And it updates automatically.

Show Top and Bottom Results in a Chart-Table

The workbook that supports the following figure does a lot of work! First, it uses Power Query to download the weekly unemployment claims and the...
In Excel Tables, you can filter on any two conditions in a column. But by using the SUMPRODUCT function, you can filter on any number of items in a list.

How to Use SUMPRODUCT in an Excel Table to Filter Any Number of Items

Excel 2007 introduced the powerful Table feature, as illustrated below. Tables allow you to sort and filter your data easily. However, the filter capability has...

How to Use SUMPRODUCT to Create Two-Dimensional Lookups in Excel Formulas

A friend recently asked, "In this table, how can I return the date where the lowest value occurs?" More generally, however, he was asking how to...
Do you spend hours each period turning raw data into useful information? You can fight such Spreadsheet Hell with help from three key Excel functions.

How to Fight Spreadsheet Hell with Three Excel Lookup Functions

(I wrote this long ago, and there's much to be added. It's high on my Update list. Charley) Many Excel users build their reports like...
Does Excel's INDEX worksheet function work for you only some of the time? Here are ways to learn why your INDEX function isn't working as you expect.

How to Debug INDEX in Excel

"I'm not a very experienced Excel user. Why does = INDEX(...) sometimes work and sometimes not.... :-)?" -- Suzan G. Probably the best way to...
This simple VBA procedure finds the precise time it takes to calculate a workbook. You can use it to test competing workbook design methods.

Use Excel VBA to Test Report Calculation Times

I once exchanged email with an experienced Excel jockey who insisted that VLOOKUP was Excel’s fastest lookup method. It was even faster, he said,...
INDEX-MATCH formulas can perform many types of lookups that VLOOKUP can’t. And they're faster. Here are six examples.

How to Use INDEX-MATCH, Part 3: Six Lookups That VLOOKUP Can’t Do

In this three-part series, I'm showing you how to use INDEX-MATCH. In Part 1, I showed you how to use the INDEX function. In Part...
Most Excel users need to look up data in workbooks. But what's the best lookup method?

Excel’s VLOOKUP vs INDEX-MATCH Functions

Excel offers two primary lookup methods: VLOOKUP and INDEX-MATCH. Although the two methods are similar, INDEX-MATCH is more powerful. I suspect, however, that VLOOKUP is better-known and more...
The MATCH function makes the INDEX function useful. This is the second of a three-part series designed to INDEX-MATCH clearer.

How to Use INDEX-MATCH, Part 2: The MATCH Function

In this three-part series, I'm showing you how to use INDEX-MATCH. In Part 1, I showed you how to use the INDEX function. Here,...

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To use Account Groups in Excel formulas, you first must define the groups. Here’s how to do it using either simple lists or Dynamic Arrays.

How to Define General Ledger Account Groups in Excel

In Part 1 of this series, How to Report GL Account Groups in Excel, we explored the strategy for creating financial reports that use...
We compare Excel's five columnar lookup functions.

XLOOKUP vs VLOOKUP vs INDEX-MATCH vs SUMIFS

SUMIFS? Really? Why is SUMIFS included among those lookup methods? I'll explain in a few minutes. But first, let's look at the lookup methods shown in...
How to aggregate named groups of GL accounts.

How to Report GL Account Groups in Excel

Believe it or not, this income statement is quite sophisticated. It's not nearly as simple-minded as it looks. In fact, this income statement illustrates a...
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