INDEX & MATCH in Excel - better alternative to VLOOKUP

This tutorial shows how to use INDEX and MATCH in Excel and how it is better than VLOOKUP.

In a couple of recent articles I made a good effort to explain the basics of VLOOKUP function to beginners and provide more complex VLOOKUP formula examples to power users. And now, I will try if not to talk you out of using VLOOKUP, then at least show you an alternative way to do a vertical lookup in Excel.

"What do I need that for?" you may ask me. Because VLOOKUP is not the only lookup function in Excel, and its numerous limitations might prevent you from getting the desired result in many situations. On the other hand, Excel INDEX MATCH is more flexible and has a number of features that make it superior to VLOOKUP in many respects.

Excel VLOOKUP or INDEX / MATCH - which is better?

Excel INDEX and MATCH functions - the basics

Since the aim of this tutorial is to demonstrate an alternative way to do a vlookup in Excel by using a combination of INDEX and MATCH functions, we won't dwell much on their syntax and uses. We will cover only the minimum necessary for understanding the general idea and then take an in-depth look at formula examples that reveal all the advantages of using INDEX MATCH instead of VLOOKUP.

INDEX function - syntax and usage

The Excel INDEX function returns a value in an array based on the row and column numbers you specify. The syntax of the INDEX function is straightforward:

INDEX(array, row_num, [column_num])

Here is a very simple explanation of each parameter:

  • array - a range of cells that you want to return a value from.
  • row_num - the row number in array from which you want to return a value. If omitted, the column_num is required.
  • column_num - the column number in array from which you want to return a value. If omitted, row_num is required.

For more information, please see Excel INDEX function.

And here is an example of the INDEX formula in its simplest form:

=INDEX(A1:C10,2,3)

The formula searches in cells A1 through C10 and returns a value of the cell in the 2nd row and the 3rd column, i.e. cell C2.

Very easy, right? However, when working with real data you would hardly ever know which row and column you want, that's where the MATCH function comes in handy.

MATCH function - syntax and usage

The Excel MATCH function searches for a lookup value in a range of cells and returns the relative position of that value in the range.

The syntax of the MATCH function is as follows:

MATCH(lookup_value, lookup_array, [match_type])
  • lookup_value - the number or text value you are looking for.
  • lookup_array - a range of cells being searched.
  • match_type - specifies whether to return an exact match or the nearest match:
    • 1 or omitted - finds the largest value that is less than or equal to the lookup value. Requires sorting the lookup array in ascending order.
    • 0 - finds the first value that is exactly equal to the lookup value. In the INDEX / MATCH combination, you almost always need an exact match, so you set the third argument of your MATCH function to 0.
    • -1 - finds the smallest value that is greater than or equal to lookup_value. Requires sorting the lookup array in descending order.

For example, if the range B1:B3 contains the values "New-York", "Paris", "London", the below formula returns the number 3, because "London" is the third entry in the range:

=MATCH("London",B1:B3,0)

For more information, please see Excel MATCH function.

At first sight, the usefulness of the MATCH function may seem questionable. Who cares about the position of a value in a range? What we do want to know is the value itself.

Let me remind you that the relative position of the lookup value (i.e. row and column numbers) is exactly what you need to supply to the row_num and column_num arguments of the INDEX function. As you remember, Excel INDEX can find the value at the juncture of a given row and column, but it cannot determine which exactly row and column you want.

How to use INDEX MATCH function in Excel

Now that you know the basics, I believe it has already started making sense how MATCH and INDEX work together. In a nutshell, INDEX finds the lookup value by column and row numbers, and MATCH provides those numbers. That's it!

For vertical lookup, you use the MATCH function only to determine the row number and supply the column range directly to INDEX:

INDEX (column to return a value from, MATCH (lookup valuecolumn to look up against, 0)

Still having difficulties to figure that out? It might be easier to understand from an example. Suppose you have a list of national capitals and their population:
Source data for INDEX MATCH formula

To find the population of a certain capital, say the capital of Japan, use the following INDEX MATCH formula:

=INDEX(C2:C10, MATCH("Japan", A2:A10, 0))

Now, let's analyze what each component of this formula actually does:

  • The MATCH function searches for the lookup value "Japan" in the range A2:A10, and returns the number 3, because "Japan" is third in the lookup array.
  • The row number goes directly to the row_num argument of INDEX instructing it to return a value from that row.

So, the above formula turns into a simple INDEX(C2:C,3) that says to search in cells C2 through C10 and pull the value from the 3rd cell in that range, i.e. C4 because we start counting from the second row.

Don't want to hardcode the city in the formula? Input it in some cell, say F1, supply the cell reference to MATCH, and you will get a dynamic lookup formula:

=INDEX(C2:C10, MATCH(F1,A2:A10,0))

Excel INDEX MATCH formula

Important note! The number of rows in the array argument of INDEX should match the number of rows in the lookup_array argument of MATCH, otherwise the formula will produce an incorrect result.

Wait, wait… why don't we simply use the following Vlookup formula? What's the point in wasting time trying to figure out the arcane twists of Excel MATCH INDEX?

=VLOOKUP(F1, A2:C10, 3, FALSE)

In this case, no point at all :) This simple example is for demonstration purposes only, so that you get a feel of how the INDEX and MATCH functions work together. Other examples that follow below will show you the real power of this combination that easily copes with many complex scenarios when VLOOKUP stumbles.

INDEX MATCH vs. VLOOKUP

When deciding which function to use for vertical lookups, most Excel gurus agree that INDEX MATCH is far better than VLOOKUP. However, many people still stay with VLOOKUP, firstly, because it's simpler and, secondly, because they do not fully understand all benefits of using the INDEX MATCH formula in Excel. Without such understanding no one is willing to invest their time to learn a more complex syntax.

Below, I will point out the key advantages of MATCH INDEX over VLOOKUP, and you decide whether it's a worthy addition to your Excel arsenal.

4 main reasons to use INDEX MATCH instead of VLOOKUP

  1. Right to left lookup. As any educated user knows, VLOOKUP cannot look to its left, meaning your lookup value should always reside in the leftmost column of the table. INDEX MATCH can do left lookup with ease! The following example shows it in action: How to Vlookup a value to the left in Excel.
  2. Insert or delete columns safely. VLOOKUP formulas get broken or delivers incorrect results when a new column is deleted from or added to a lookup table because VLOOKUP's syntax requires specifying the index number of the column you want to pull the data from. Naturally, when you add or delete columns, the index number changes.

    With INDEX MATCH, you specify the return column range, not an index number. As the result, you are free to insert and remove as many columns as you want without worrying about updating every associated formula.

  3. No limit for a lookup value's size. When using the VLOOKUP function, the total length of your lookup criteria cannot exceed 255 characters, otherwise you will end up having the #VALUE! error. So, if your dataset contains long strings, INDEX MATCH is the only working solution.
  4. Higher processing speed. If your tables are relatively small, there will hardly be any significant difference in Excel performance. But if your worksheets contain hundreds or thousands of rows, and consequently hundreds or thousands of formulas, MATCH INDEX will work much faster than VLOOKUP because Excel will have to process only the lookup and return columns rather than the entire table array.

    VLOOKUP's impact on Excel's performance may be especially noticeable if your workbook contains complex array formulas like VLOOKUP and SUM. The point is that checking each value in the array requires a separate call of the VLOOKUP function. So, the more values your array contains and the more array formulas you have in a workbook, the slower Excel performs.

Excel INDEX MATCH - formula examples

Knowing the reasons to learn the MATCH INDEX function, let's get to the most interesting part and see how you can apply the theoretical knowledge in practice.

INDEX MATCH formula to look up from right to left

As already mentioned, VLOOKUP cannot look at its left. So, unless your lookup values are is the leftmost column, there's no chance that a Vlookup formula will bring you the result you want. The INDEX MATCH function in Excel is more versatile and does not really care where the lookup and return columns are located.

For this example, we will add the Rank column to the left of our sample table and try to figure out how the Russian capital, Moscow, ranks in terms of population.

With the lookup value in G1, use the following formula to search in C2:C10 and return a corresponding value from A2:A10:

=INDEX(A2:A10,MATCH(G1,C2:C10,0))

Look up values to left using INDEX MATCH

Tip. If you plan to use your INDEX MATCH formula for more than one cell, be sure to lock both ranges with absolute cell references (like $A$2:$A$10 and $C$2:4C$10) so they won't get distorted when copying the formula.

INDEX MATCH MATCH to search in rows and columns

In the above examples, we used INDEX MATCH as the replacement for classic VLOOKUP to return a value from a predefined one-column range. But what if you need to look up in multiple rows and columns? In other words, what if you want to perform the so-called matrix or two-way lookup?

This may sound tricky, but the formula is very similar to the basic Excel INDEX MATCH function, with just one difference. Guess what?

Simply, use two MATCH functions – one to get a row number and the other to get a column number. And I congratulate those of you who have guessed right :)

INDEX (array, MATCH (vlookup valuecolumn to look up against, 0), MATCH (hlookup valuerow to look up against, 0))

And now, please take a look at the below table and let's build an INDEX MATCH MATCH formula to find the population (in millions) in a given country for a given year.

With the target country in G1 (vlookup value) and the target year in G2 (hlookup value), the formula takes this shape:

=INDEX(B2:D11, MATCH(G1,A2:A11,0), MATCH(G2,B1:D1,0))

INDEX MATCH MATCH formula for two-way lookup in Excel

How this formula works

Whenever you need to understand a complex Excel formula, break it down into smaller parts and see what each individual function does:

MATCH(G1,A2:A11,0) – searches through A2:A11 for the value in cell G1 ("China") and returns its position, which is 2.

MATCH(G2,B1:D1,0)) – searches through B1:D1 to get the position of the value in cell G2 ("2015"), which is 3.

The above row and column numbers go to the corresponding arguments of the INDEX function:

INDEX(B2:D11, 2, 3)

As the result, you get a value at the intersection of the 2nd row and 3rd column in the range B2:D11, which is the value in cell D3. Easy? Yep!

Excel INDEX MATCH to look up multiple criteria

If you had a chance to read our Excel VLOOKUP tutorial, you have probably already tested a formula to Vlookup with multiple criteria. However, a significant limitation of that approach is the necessity to add a helper column. The good news is that Excel's INDEX MATCH function can look up with two or more criteria too, without modifying or restructuring your source data!

Here's the generic INDEX MATCH formula with multiple criteria:

{=INDEX(return_range, MATCH(1, (criteria1=range1) * (criteria2=range2), 0))}
Note. This is an array formula that must be completed with the Ctrl + Shift + Enter shortcut.

In the sample table below, supposing you want to find the amount based on 2 criteria, Customer and Product.

The following INDEX MATCH formula works a treat:

=INDEX(C2:C10, MATCH(1, (F1=A2:A10) * (F2=B2:B10), 0))

Where C2:C10 is the range to return a value from, F1 is criteria1, A2:A10 is the range to compare against criteria1, F2 is criteria 2, and B2:B10 is the range to compare against criteria2.

Remember to enter the formula correctly by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Enter, and Excel will automatically enclose it curly brackets as shown in the screenshot:
The INDEX MATCH formula to look up multiple criteria

If you'd rather not use array formulas in your worksheets, add one more INDEX function to the formula and complete it with a usual Enter hit:
A non-array INDEX MATCH formula with multiple criteria

How these formulas work

The formulas use the same approach as the basic INDEX MATCH function that looks through a single column. To evaluate multiple criteria, you create two or more arrays of TRUE and FALSE values that represent matches and non-matches for each individual criterion, and then multiply the corresponding elements of these arrays. The multiplication operation converts TRUE and FALSE into 1 and 0, respectively, and produces an array where 1's correspond to rows that match all the criteria. The MATCH function with a lookup value of 1 finds the first "1" in the array and passes its position to INDEX, which returns a value in this row from the specified column.

The non-array formula relies on the ability of the INDEX function to handle arrays natively. The second INDEX is configured with 0 row_num so that it will pass the entire column array to MATCH.

That is a high-level explanation of the formula's logic. For full details, please see Excel INDEX MATCH with multiple criteria.

Excel INDEX MATCH with AVERAGE, MAX, MIN

Microsoft Excel has special functions to find a minimum, maximum and average value in a range. But what if you need to get a value from another cell that is associated with those values? In this case, use the MAX, MIN or AVERAGE function together with INDEX MATCH.

INDEX MATCH with MAX

To find the largest value in column D and return a value from column C in the same row, use this formula:

=INDEX(C2:C10, MATCH(MAX(D2:D10), D2:D10, 0))

INDEX MATCH with MIN

To locate the smallest value in column D and pull an associated value from column C, use this one:

=INDEX(C2:C10, MATCH(MIN(D2:D10), D2:D10, 0))

INDEX MATCH with AVERAGE

To work out the value closest to the average in D2:D10 and get a corresponding value from column C, this is the formula to use:

=INDEX(C2:C10, MATCH(AVERAGE(D2:D10), D2:D10, -1 ))

Depending on how your data is organized, supply either 1 or -1 to the third argument (match_type) of the MATCH function:

  • If your lookup column (column D in our case) is sorted ascending, put 1. The formula will calculate the largest value that is less than or equal to the average value.
  • If your lookup column is sorted descending, enter -1. The formula will compute the smallest value that is greater than or equal to the average value.
  • If your lookup array contains a value exactly equal to the average, you can enter 0 for exact match. No sorting is required.

In our example, the populations in column D are sorted in descending order, so we use -1 for match type. As the result, we get "Tokyo" since its population (13,189,000) is the closest match that is greater than average (12,269,006).
Using INDEX MATCH with AVERAGE, MAX, MIN

You may be curious to know that VLOOKUP can perform such calculations too, but as an array formula: VLOOKUP with AVERAGE, MAX, MIN.

Using INDEX MATCH with IFNA / IFERROR

As you have probably noticed, if an INDEX MATCH formula in Excel cannot find a lookup value, it produces an #N/A error. If you wish to replace the standard error notation with something more meaningful, wrap your INDEX MATCH formula in the IFNA function. For example:

=IFNA(INDEX(C2:C10, MATCH(F1,A2:A10,0)), "No match is found")

And now, if someone inputs a lookup table that does not exist in the lookup range, the formula will explicitly inform the user that no match is found:
Using INDEX / MATCH with IFNA function to trap N/A errors

If you'd like to catch all errors, not only #N/A, use the IFERROR function instead of IFNA:

=IFERROR(INDEX(C2:C10, MATCH(F1,A2:A10,0)), "Oops, something went wrong!")

Please keep in mind that in many situations it might be unwise to disguise all errors because they alert you about possible faults in your formula.

That's how to use INDEX and MATCH in Excel. I hope our formula examples will prove helpful for you and look forward to seeing you on our blog next week!

Practice workbook for download

Excel INDEX MATCH examples (.xlsx file)

You may also be interested in:

483 responses to "INDEX & MATCH in Excel - better alternative to VLOOKUP"

  1. J.E says:

    Hi,

    I'm trying to find something similar to this but I'm having trouble.

    I have a list of addresses in Sheet 1, the whole address is in one cell. So for example A2, A3, A4 all contain a different address. Then in B2, B3, B4 etc I want to display a area code, "3" or "8" for example based on the postcode in the cell in column A.

    I have a list of postcodes in Sheet 2 with the area code adjacent to them.

    I've tried with a VLOOKUP and a CELL but I cant fathom it out... if anyone can help I would be grateful......

    • Min says:

      Hi J.E., if I understand you correctly, you might be better off using VLOOKUP here. So on Sheet1, cell B1, if you wrote something like:

      =VLOOKUP(RIGHT(A1,7),Sheet2!$A$1:$B$50,2,0)

      where the address in cell A1 contains a 6-character postcode with a space in the middle, you should return the area code.

      Hope that helps!
      Min

      • Manohar says:

        Hi iam Trying to reverse VLOOKUP but its not possible right instead of VLOOKUP How to use index function
        Lookup values
        Master list( Some date )

  2. Juanita says:

    Thank you! Thank you! I've spent 3 days working on a spreadsheet, copy and pasting values to only mess it all up. Your Index and Match function explanations enabled me to do the same thing 3 minutes. You are a genius!
    Congratulations on a tutorial well done!

  3. Junizar Iwan Halim says:

    Hi...I have 2 columns of data... Let say Column A as list of Capital as in the example above and column B is a remark, filled with text -"take" in Row 3 and 5 only for example. I want to use Index to identify if you find take - then show capital in the 1st row, in the 2nd row etc in column D for example as I want to have the result be positioned. How can I do it with index and it should be matched with which other formula. Can you help?

  4. Lu says:

    I think this is where my question would go... I have a dataset with a list of patients, their visit dates and the pain score they reported on that date. I need to flag all of the patients whose score increased on the subsequent visit (i.e., the treatment is not working). Tried with a pivot and lookup table to get the max score but can't get the dates compared. Assist please.

  5. Bassem says:

    Thank you for this wonderful tutorial. It only took me ten minutes to get the formula working for me. I like the way you write! Almost feels like you are a teacher in a classroom explaining it on a board. You made me feel like a student again, and lucky for me, one who just passed :-)
    Oh and one more thing, bye bye vlookup ...

  6. Dinh says:

    Hi Lu,

    A simpler solution to your question would be to sort your data by patient and date of visit. A conditional formatting can be used to indicate where a pain score is higher than the previous visit.

  7. prj says:

    Fantastic tutorial.

  8. Nii-Ashitey Hammond says:

    Thanks, I found this really useful.

  9. Matthew Rich says:

    I have column A with a unique list of hundreds of names

    I have column C with a not unique list of thousands of names that includes multiple instances of names from column A, and 100 times as many names that are not in Column A

    I have column D with the same amount of rows as column C, all unique numbers.

    I need to take every name from column A, find all of the same name in column C and then give me a list of all the phone numbers it finds from column D.

    And I need all those numbers to be in one big column.

  10. Matthew Rich says:

    They aren't. They are basically random unique numbers.

  11. Riyaz ahmed says:

    Hi,
    Sir,
    Your explanation mathod is superb......
    Any simple person could also be understand....
    Are you a lecturer in any institute.....

  12. Amit says:

    I am looking for excel formula for following scenario:
    Ex: Column A,C & E indicates color and Col B ,D & F Indicates price of the color. In Column G , We need to find minimum price for red color.

    ColumnA Col.B Col.C Col.D Col.E Col.F Col.G
    Row1 Yellow 15 Red 58 Red 32 Min price of red

    Please share which formula will be suitable to overcome on above scenario.

  13. Dan says:

    Great tutorial! My question would be if I have 'like' numbers in my array can I still pick up the value if they have different labels attached to them? For example I am applying a score to tickers, then ranking them, top three tickers would be ISRG, GOOGL and AAPL. ISRG has a score of 20, GOOGL and AAPL have a score of 19. Currently my situation and formula (using hlookup) returns in rank 1 ISRG, rank 2 GOOGL, and rank 3 GOOGL. Is there a way to where matching values still return the given ticker, thus showing AAPL instead of two GOOGL?

  14. Muhammad umair says:

    please help me how can i separat the name of students which are absent in daily roll call from excel attandance sheet

  15. LisaB says:

    Using the INDEX MATCH to return data based on the matching of two cells in a different spreadsheet, is there a way to make the MATCH process more than just the first located match? I am using a Google Sheet with a Form to add in a person's intial certificates but also to add when they complete a new certificate. I would like the line for that person on the main tab to update with ALL form entries. Here is my formula:
    =ArrayFormula(IfError(INDEX('Form Responses 1'!$A$2:$AH$1001, MATCH(1, ($A2='Form Responses 1'!$B$2:$B$1001)*($B2='Form Responses 1'!$C$2:$C$1001),0), 6),""))

  16. B Santosh says:

    Hello

    Need an help regarding the "Index" function

    here I was trying to grab Index with "v-look up", hence I'm using it in getting data from another sheet, I'm seeing some popup stating formula is wrong,

    Please guide me clearly with formula how to use "Index" with "V-lookup"

    Appreciate your help

  17. Gopi.K says:

    I have two sheets, one sheet(A) having unique codes and sheet (B) having same unique codes, category (PT, ST, IT etc..) and date column
    Here sheet (B) have multiple records for same code, same category

    Now, In Sheet (A) I want to get the min date for PT and max date for PT with reference to sheet (B)

  18. Walker says:

    Hello,

    I have a list of unique account numbers in columns A, B, and C. How can I tell if any of the same account numbers appear in a different column?

  19. Anonymous says:

    Thanks a lot! It really helped me in completing my task of vlookup from 1 million records sheet.

  20. sarada says:

    How can I match two columns, say patient ID and date of visit and then retrieve the test result from a array of multiple visits by the same patient? ie there are results for the same test from multiple visits.

  21. John Carson says:

    I have a list of data (numbers). I want to find if any of them are greater than 9 and if so look in all columns to the right of it for values greater than 0 (looking for 2 more). There are 4 outcomes 1) no >9. 2) >9 But no >0. 3) >9 and 1 that is >0. 4) >9 and 2 that are >0. All with more than 2 would return the value if 2 were met.

    What group of functions would I use to make this happen.

  22. H says:

    Here is a link to my spreadsheet on google drive - I was not sure how to post it here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jfoMPEQQhsAA90tyv43K3p9FqF3LAyFv/view?usp=sharing

    I have three columns of data that are plotted on a graph. You will see on the graph two arrows, and I would like excel to return the x axis values (frame number) for where these arrows point (heel strike). This should be more accurate and time effective than me doing it manually / visually.

    Frame number for heel strike 1 is defined by the GRF data where it first meets or exceeds the threshold displayed in G9. Manually I can see this is frame number 80, but I want excel to return it to me. To find the frame number of heel strike 2 excel will now need to use a velocity threshold. So, based on the previous heel strike velocity value can excel find the next occurrence of this velocity value. Ideally the data point either side of this value should be greater to ensure it is heel strike, and not another point on the graph where the magnitude of velocity is similar. I have tried using the match and index formulas but haven’t got it work. I not sure if there are better functions to use than this.

  23. Neels says:

    Sheet 1
    Line# PO Qty Reciver
    2 222000 10 A20535
    6 222000 15 A20587
    9 222000 20 A20687

    Sheet 2
    line# PO Receiver
    2 222000 A20535 ;A20587;A20687 (Answer)

    I need the answer by making formula in Sheet 2 as display above.

    Please help

  24. Naresh says:

    Request your help in below issue. Want to match the cell value in column but unable to do that. Please help me.

    Column1 Column2
    2133 GMA
    2133 MCA
    2133 MCA2
    6488 USI
    6488 GMA
    7645 MCA2
    7645 USI
    6488 NOT

    Column4 column5(GMA) Column6(MCA2) Column7(MCA)
    2133
    6488
    7645

    Request your help in creating the formula that can match the value against column4 from column2 and column2.

  25. Steven Andrews says:

    Hi... I am working on pulling information from one tab containing several columns of numbers into a separate tab. I used the index function and it works great, but only for one instance of the "search" box. I'm using it to pull information from various events that have occurred at the arena in which I work. How would I adjust the formula to make it pull all of the events that have the same name? For example, Jimmy Buffett has performed multiple times here, but when I type "jimmy buffett" in my search cell, it only pulls data from one show, when he has has four shows here.

  26. Faruqur Rahman Bhuiyan says:

    Plsss help me, how can I lookup Apple3 & Orange4 value-

    Apple1 80
    Apple2 100
    Apple3 90
    Orange1 120
    Orange2 220
    Orange3 180
    Orange4 160

  27. A says:

    Please help me to match information in order to return the correct code to Column A.....Column B (desc) contains information to be matched to column C (type) and then return Column D (code) to Column A....Column B is a description column and contains different information to describe type, but is all the same. Thank You for your Help!
    Ex.
    B C D
    1 Motor Truck Sc Motor Truck Sc MTS
    2 Truck Sc
    3 MTS

  28. Lee-Anne says:

    Hi, My data is A4:J22.
    I have column B which contains the category name, used multiple times.
    I have column F containing a dollar value amount still to be paid.

    In cell K3, I want put the total dollar value (from column F) for specific text "Meal Entertainment" in column B.

    Eg:
    Column B: Column F:
    Meal Entertainment $20.00
    Living Expenses $1,000.00
    Living Expenses $50.00
    Meal Entertainment $100.00

    So, in column K3, I want to end up with an amount of $120.00.

    Thanks in advance.

  29. Sid says:

    Hi,

    Which formula do I put in D2 to achieve the following?

    If A2 contains all the text (consecutively but not an exact match) from any cell from range B2 through B50, then display the corresponding text that's currently located in column C in that corresponding row. So if it finds that A2 contains text (consecutively but not an exact match) that exists say in B47 then it should display the text from C47 in column D2.

    Your help would really be appreciated

  30. Amy says:

    Hello. I am working on a spreadsheet and trying to figure out the best way. What I need is to find a match from the sheet I am working on which starts on E3. I want to be able to look on the same row on a different sheet that matches the text in E3. It will have a range to match from E3-J3 on the other sheet. However, I do not want it to simply return the value found in that matches, I want it to designate text for each column. Basically if row E3 has the text Cookie in it and it finds a match on the other sheet row 3 in the columns E3-J3 that also contains Cookie, how can I make it return a value based on the column it is found in? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  31. Erik says:

    Hello,

    I am trying to reference a sheet that runs horizontally and use INDEX MATCH to fill in another sheet that runs vertical. But is based on multiple criteria.

    IE :

    Customer Measure wk 35 wk 36 wk 37 wk 38
    Erik Retail $9.99 $9.99 $9.99 $9.99
    Erik Cost $4.50 $4.50 $4.50 $4.50
    Erik Sellout FCST 100 100 150 100
    Erik Channel Inventory 250 150 0 100

    I need to look up "Erik", by "sellout FCST" by "wk 37"

    I understand INDEX and with MATCH which was a fantastic tutorial. But i am having trouble adding this small example above.

    Thank you for any help provided.
    E

  32. Rashmi says:

    Hi,
    I need to look up for a multiple colums with offset for client invoice # po# amount details etc. Please help.
    Regards
    Rashmi

  33. Dennis says:

    Good day Svetlana,

    I hope you will be able to help me. I have been going back and fourth between whether to use a macro or formula to solve this problem and am still not sure.

    I have two columns from one spreadsheet and 3 columns from another that I first need to line up and match the invoice numbers from each of the two sets of columns and then I need to find the difference between the values of the other two columns from each set. The last column will tell me who VP those differences will be assigned to.

    This INDEX/MATCH formula seems like the best (formula) method to attempt, but I have over 7000 rows that I need to line up and find the differences for each all at the same time.

    The best (macro) method I have found is from here: http://sites.madrocketscientist.com/jerrybeaucaires-excelassistant/text-functions/line-up-matches and it works almost perfectly, except for the last 400 rows, the macro splits them up in two columns despite the fact that they still match each other.

    If you happen to know how I can achieve this through a formula, I would appreciate any and all help on this one.

    Thank you very much Svetlana.
    Dennis

  34. Tyronne says:

    I am trying to get a formula to lookup a "itemNo" and search for the lowest 6 bidders in a table as given below. Would greatly appreciate your support.

    SEARCH Item_02
    No of Bidders 6

    Class Bidder Value
    1 LISTEC HOLDINGS #VALUE!
    2 HEMSONS #VALUE!
    3 ANALYTICAL INSTRUMENTS #VALUE!
    4 LABORATORY EQUIPMENTS #VALUE!
    5 AVON #VALUE!
    6 HI FI CENTER PROJECT #VALUE!

    SUPPLIERS Item_01 Item_02 Item_03 Item_04
    LISTEC HOLDINGS Rs. 225,000 Rs. 29,688 Rs. 83,000 Rs. 68,000
    TECHNO INSTRUMENTS N/Q N/Q Rs. 974,370 Rs. 1,583,090
    ROTEX N/Q N/Q Rs. 650,000 N/Q
    AVON Rs. 518,790 N/Q N/Q N/Q
    ATA INTERNATIONAL N/Q Rs. 79,000 Rs. 978,000 Rs. 1,490,000
    CAN COM Rs. 140,000 Rs. 6,500 Rs. 1,450,000 Rs. 2,350,000
    HI FI CENTER PROJECT Rs. 585,800 Rs. 18,300 Rs. 331,000 Rs. 321,000
    HEMSONS Rs. 369,860 Rs. 99,750 N/Q N/Q
    ISLAND WIDE SCIENTIFIC N/Q N/Q Rs. 4,136,000 Rs. 2,811,000
    CLARION INTERNATIONAL Rs. 1,534,000 N/Q Rs. 970,000 Rs. 1,165,000
    SALID ZONE N/Q N/Q Rs. 627,300
    RAMATAS GLOBALTRADING N/Q N/Q Rs. 1,440,000 Rs. 1,760,000

  35. Marlo says:

    Would like to ask if there is also an alternative to this if you are looking for cells containing a certain value. The thing with the index-match formula is that it finds for the exact value. it is similar to the vlookup with approximate match. Thing is the data is on the right side so I'm needing a left lookup formula with approximate match, not exact match.

    Thank you for those who can answer my query.

  36. James White says:

    I have two columns that are pull down lists and I want to to pull in the required value of the intersections based on the selection from the pull down lists... I have a basic risk register developed that I would like to correlate the correct risk value... For example I have a consequence pulldown list (AK11) and a likelihood pull down list (AL11) and I want to match the correct value into AK12... the table that I am using to reference is a simple 5 x 5...

    I cannot seem to get the index table and match formula to work - I either get a 0 or no value?

  37. Vijayaraghavan Srinivasan says:

    I have a scenario, I want to pickup data from another sheet where in like following
    Name/month/place
    A/apr-18/x
    A/apr-18/y

    How do I lookup the place from this sheet to another using index and match. Conditions are place is unique bit name and month will get repeat so it's a kind of multiple criteria. I have done this through vlookup by added a column but I want to know in this format

  38. subburaj says:

    I need formula to display the lowest vendor for each row. Can anyone help with this as the Index function uses range which is giving error due to values are located in alternate columns.

    Thank you

    | Vendor | Discount | Price | Vendor | Discount | Price | Lowest vendor|
    Product 1| AAA | 15 | 2000 | BBB | 10 | 2500 | ???formula |
    Product 2| CCC | 15 | 1500 | DDD | 20 | 1000 | ???formula |

  39. MICHAEL DENNIS says:

    I am trying to sort a Christmas list i have made on Open Office into my grandkids names. The list I made has 3 main columns..A,B and C with multible columns.... D,E,F,etc.with "x' in them for each person that gets that gift. I would like to write a formula that would copy column A,B & C for the person in say D column(Caitlin) that has an x beside it. I tried writing a formula for say a-1 that says =if(d629="x";+a6290 but it doesn't work. I would also like for it to move to the next row under D if there is no x in d629.
    If you could help me out, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks and ...HAVE A GREAT DAY and a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

  40. JUSTWIN says:

    I have column A2:A10, B2:B10, C2:C10, D2:D10, with random name and few are matching within. Also in same sheet from A13 to A75 have main name table, now I want EXACT MATCH if any name MATCH (priority) 3 times or 2 times within A2:A10, B2:B10, C2:C10, D2:D10 if 3 times match need HIGHLIGHT exact NAME in main table (A13 to A75).

    If possible please help me, Thanks in advance.

  41. Jay says:

    The only practical advantage I'm seeing over vlookup from the article is if you want to look left or if you have a HUGE file, although I've never encountered any noticeable lag with vlookup even in gigantic files.

    Most users don't lookup cells with over 250 characters.

    If you use Tables instead of ranges, then inserting columns/rows will not affect vlookup.

    You can use Sumif(s) to obtain the same response as the last array example.

    Vlookup allows approximate matches and the index/match also requires values to be sorted in either increasing/decreasing order.

    Am I missing another advantage that allows more flexible lookups, i.e. names that may not be spelled exactly the same way??

  42. pankaj says:

    Hi ,
    I am struggling with a data table.
    I have one parameter in first column , i have a value to lookup in an array pertaining to a particular Row based on values in 1st column.
    I have to return the collumn hedder data for theat particular indexed Row(Based on parameter in 1st col ) & Column (Based on the desired lookup value )

    Hope you understood my problem.

  43. Mark says:

    Hi
    Great tutorial. I am unable to find a solution for an issue we have. I have tried combinations of SUMIF and VLOOKUP without success.

    We have a roster built in Excel and this has a range of duties in rows as below
    Date1 Date2 Date3 Date4 Date5
    AD01 BN01 BN01 PH01 ML07

    The codes refer to a number of sectors in a named range "Duties" and the number of sectors are in column 3 of that range. AD01 = 2, BN01 = 3, PH01 = 4, ML07 = 1

    What I need is a sum that totals the row, so in the example above, the result will be 13 (2+3+3+4+1).

    Any help will be appreciated.

  44. edward says:

    I have a table with a lot of data - need to take column A (product ID) and all of the MATCH Column A take and add all of the numbers from Column C (Qty) and Column D (price) and Place in new table with Product ID, Product Name, Total QTY, Total Price, and Average Price (( column B product description))

  45. Ewan says:

    good day, i'm using v lookup but want to try the Index Match. problem is i've got double dates because i work on 2 shifts. obviously if says #value. how can i make this work?

  46. JD says:

    I'm having issues with INDEX/MATCH using a large data set (180,000+ rows, 15 columns). The value in A2 is 40000001. The formula I am using is =INDEX($A$1:$O$74190,MATCH(A2,$L$1:$L$74190,0),15) and it results in a #N/A. However, when I change it to =INDEX($A$1:$O$74190,MATCH("40000001",$L$1:$L$74190,0),15) it pulls in the correct value. Why will it not recognize A2 as being 40000001?

  47. boon says:

    Hi, Svetlana. Thank you for a great tutorial. Unfortunately, I'm quite new at Excel, and have trouble applying INDEX/MATCH in my sheet. I hope you can help. Here goes: I have one summary tab (X) where each column's data would be ported over to different tabs (Y) in the sheet. Each column of X will be numbered at their corresponding topmost cell from 1 to 10, and each Y tab will be labelled from 1 to 10 in a specific cell. Would it be possible to match/lookup X 1 to Y 1 (X 2 to Y 2, and so on) so that the range of data in column X 1 ports over to a column in Y 2? (I hope what I wrote makes sense).

  48. Francisco Jr says:

    Hi, Thank you for this useful information about index & match. It is very useful to us and it will save time to us for our work.

  49. John-Paul Leonard says:

    Hi Svetlana,
    The fantastic thing about Index Match is it solves most of the troubleshooting issues that arise from the other lookup functions. You can find a related value in any table at all, searching on any value you have. The other file doesn't have to have the same set of values on the search variable, nor does it have to be sorted in any order. So Index Match is amazingly powerful, flexible and accurate. Of course it does takes some concentration to work with it.
    I first figured out the Index Match combination back in the 90's when I was doing heavy analysis of data. I'm glad to see it's eventually getting to be better known. It would be a lot better known if Microsoft made it into a single function, which would be easier than combining two functions yourself.

  50. Thomas Boekestyn says:

    hello i am having some trouble with my index match function i am usung it to return one size below my input size for instance when i input a size D10.75 it returns D10.01 (the way our measurements work) but when i move to a size under 10 ( D9.4) it will return our largest size (30) just wondering if anyone has had similar issues i have not found any errors with sizes above 10

  51. DJ THOMAS says:

    please help. i have 3 columns. how to find the value of Bus 3 & car 3 values using index and match functions

    col 1 col 2 col 3

    bus 1 2100
    bus 2 200
    bus 3 500

    car 1 200
    car 2 300
    car 3 400

  52. Kalona says:

    Please help!!! I have a large workbook contains 100+ worksheets. on Each worksheet I have a product number in column B and the worksheet name in column c
    In a summary sheet I have a list of product numbers in column D.
    Is there a way to use Index and Match to search the entire workbook in Column B of each worksheet, for the product number located in my summary sheet in column D and return the worksheet name located in column C of each worksheet?

    Thank you so much!

  53. Shashi K Gautam says:

    Hi Madam,
    Today I am trying two-dimensional VLOOKUP formula e.i(=INDEX($A$1:$E$11, 4, 5, 0)).
    I need to try =INDEX($A$1:$E$11, 5, 4, 0)).....Is it possible??
    pls help

  54. QB says:

    So can I use the index & Match with named Ranges?
    I keep trying but it keeps coming back N/A, (A value is not available)
    Thanks

  55. Britt says:

    Hi! I just need the same formula that Lee-Anne requested above.
    Thank you!

  56. Rodrigo Lucio says:

    Good afternoon, I am using the array formula to match a single value, I was wondering what can I change to get all the lower than $k$1.For example, if I type 300 in $K$1 I want the system to go and find all the values between -0 to 300 included.
    =IFERROR(INDEX(Data!$A$9:$A$900,SMALL(IF(COUNTIF($K$1,Data!$H$9:$H$900), MATCH(ROW(Data!$H$9:$H$900), ROW(Data!$H$9:$H$900)), ""), ROWS($A$1:A1))),"")
    It would be great if you can help me.

  57. Nishanth says:

    i am trying but it is not matching

  58. Nishanth says:

    i am able to get the value but it is not matching

  59. Nishanth says:

    =INDEX([12.xlsx]Sheet1!$F$2:$F$141,MATCH([12.xlsx]Sheet1!$E$2:$E$141,P6:P18,1))

  60. Frustrated!! says:

    Pulling my hair out now.
    Main Data table has skills in column A, Names across the top in row 5, and the data that links these are 1-5 (skills matrix basically).
    I'm trying to now (on a separate tab) pull the info per individual, in that on a new sheet, I have a list of the names, but to the right of them (in multiple cells) have all the skills that they have a 5 against. (Basically, trying to get a list of all their top rated skills).
    Rough look of data;
    Jay | Chris
    Redhat 5 5 | 4
    Redhat 6 4 | 5
    AIX 7 5 | 3

    From here, I'd like the formula to look through Jay, and next to his name (in the new sheet) pull Redhat 5, then AIX 7. For Chris it would just be Redhat 6.
    Hope someone can help!!

  61. choop says:

    Hi! How can I add more criteria to the INDEX MATCH formula when looking up at let's say 5 parameters to get more than one return, i.e. looking up suppliers criteria to return supplier names? I've managed to utilize INDEX MATCH but if there is more than one supplier matching the criteria, the formula only returns the first supplier name.
    THanks!

  62. MVig says:

    Hi Team,
    I am trying to use index match in the following situation, could you please assist with this? :
    tab1 : current month data - FTE details containing staff number, name, FTE,Position,auto pay-Y/N
    Tab2 : previous month data - FTE details containing staff number, name, FTE,Position,auto pay-Y/N
    I want to see all the leavers so I am using the following formula, please let me know how to correct this :
    =if(index(current month staff id,match(1,(current month auto pay=Y)*(current month=Jul19)*(previous month staff id=current month),0))=previous month staff id," ","Leaver")

  63. Robin says:

    Hi, if there a “name “in a2,a6,a7,a16 etc how can I fetch data of b2,b6,b7 and so on? I tried using index but it ends up with showing result of b2 only

  64. SURAJ DEY says:

    NEW STOCK
    TOTAL
    32

    OLD STOCK
    TOTAL
    45

    OLD 0-100 DAYS
    40
    OLD 100+ DAYS
    5
    NEW 0-100 DAYS
    RESULT REQUIRED
    32
    NEW 100+ DAYS
    0

  65. Graham Hyman says:

    It seems a Windows update has now broken this formula and it produces a #SPILL error message. Can you produce a workaround for this?

  66. MAHESH says:

    Hi,
    I try to lookup formula match with any of two different range. It means first look with A4 suppose if details not available means get the data with B4 cell.

  67. Jerry says:

    Hello,
    I have a table of values where I want to pick a specific unit, look for the last (previous) "on" for that unit, and record/calculate the time in between when the unit was turned on and when it was turned off.

    I.E. - Lights - Jerry turned the lights ON @ 11/1/2019 10:56AM and OFF @ 11:05AM so the DURATION = 00:09:00.

    Person TIME ON/OFF UNIT DURATION
    Dan 11/1/2019 10:00AM OFF Lamp
    Jerry 11/1/2019 10:56AM ON Lights
    Tom 11/1/2019 10:59AM ON Door
    Dan 11/1/2019 11:02AM ON Car
    Dan 11/1/2019 11:03AM OFF Car 00:01:00
    Jerry 11/1/2019 11:05AM OFF Lights 00:09:00

    How do I get the DURATION cell in the "Lights" "OFF" line to populate based off the TIME from the last "Lights" "ON" line?

    Thank you!

  68. MANAS KUMAR SARKAR says:

    I am using the formula to copy values from one sheet to other, from a table with 8 columns. The value has to come from the 8th column. The formula is working fine. Kindly inform if any variable can be put instead of writing 8.
    Thanks.
    Sheets("EXE_1").Select
    Range("O4").Select
    ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = _
    "=IFERROR((INDEX(MIN_WIP!R4C17:R20C25, MATCH(EXE_1!RC[-13],MIN_WIP!R4C17:R20C17,0),8)),""0"")"

    • Hello Manas!
      It is possible to insert an expression, which will return a number, instead of "8" in your formula. However, to give you a full and accurate answer, additional information on the result you would like to get is required. Moreover, I would like to see your formula in standard view, not R1C1.

  69. ANAND VK says:

    Hi all,Good day
    I need some help.
    I have a list of 5000 items.
    For each item, many Purchase orders have been raised.
    how to extract item wise Purchase order numbers. Tried VLOOKUP and pivot , not able to get.

    • Hello ANAND!
      I’m sorry but your task is not entirely clear to me.
      What is " item wise Purchase order numbers"? What exactly do you want to count? How many purchase orders were there? Amount?
      For me to be able to help you better, please describe your task in more detail. It’ll help me understand it better and find a solution for you. Thank you.

  70. Joseph says:

    I am looking to match based on two unique numbers that have the same result. The lookup tables or array results are in a different
    Example.

    Column A = US product ID #
    Column B = CA product ID #
    Column C = the product name of both Column A and Column B of that Same row, so can have either a corresponding US or CA Product ID

    Example: US1234 or CA123 = pencils

    For the entry, they will only enter in product ID number below, and I want to dynamically return the product name without knowing if it will be a US ID or a CA iD
    Product ID Product Name

    Thanks

    • Hello Joseph!
      If I understand your task correctly, the following formula should work for you:

      =IFERROR(INDEX(C1:C5,MAX(IFERROR(MATCH("*"&$E$1&"*",A1:A5,0),-1), IFERROR(MATCH("*"&$E$1&"*",B1:B5,0),-1))),"ERROR")

      where E1 -- Product ID

      I hope this will help, otherwise please do not hesitate to contact me anytime.

  71. Whycliffe says:

    I have name of students in column B and grade scored in column BT in sheet 1. I want to pull the name of students who scored A to sheet 2, B to sheet 3, C to sheet 4 etc

  72. Yash says:

    I have a result set as below:
    COL A COL B
    1111987 1224
    1119361 1072
    1119361 1223
    1119361 1224
    1123961 1223
    1123961 1224
    1124136 1072
    1124136 1223

    Since No# - 1124136, isn't having a combo of 1224, I wish to have that as a result.
    Please assist.

  73. Mohammed Kazem Beyad says:

    How do I write the following formula:
    If B16:B46 are all Y, then this cell should be Y. If any of the cells between B16:B46 are N, then this cell should be N.
    Also, how do I write this formula with two factors:
    If B16:B46 AND C16:C46 are all Y, then this cell will be Y. If any of those cells have an N, then this cell should be N.

  74. Mohammed Kazem Beyad says:

    Thank you so much Alexander! I really appreciate your help.
    When I tried your formula, the cell defaults to Y, even if B16:B46 are blank. But as soon as an N is put in any of the cells, the cell will turn to N. So anything but an N will keep the cell as Y. I was trying to have it such that even a blank cell in B16:B46 would result in the cell having an N. This will work for now, though. Thank you again! I very much appreciate it!

  75. Lisa says:

    Hi, i'm trying to create a formula that allows me to search a column for a reference number which exactly matches the reference number on another worksheet within the same workbook. I need it to return a Yes or No.
    On worksheet 2 In cell H3, I would like it to return a Yes if the ref number in Cell E3 matches any of the ref numbers on Worksheet 1 Column E Range E2:E500.

  76. Nick says:

    Hello excel Guru's, I am hoping someone may be able to asst me with creating a formular for the below? It's beyond my basic excel capabilities.

    Column A contains task numbers (i.e SMT001) and column P contains a task duration in seconds(i.e 11040). I need a formula that can search column A for duplicate task numbers and add the corresponding task durations in column P to give me a total task duration. is this even possible in excel?

    Any guidance would be appreciated.

  77. Graham Hyman says:

    Thank you for this, I have used it so often and it has saved me SO MUCH time. Just one thought, there has been a change in how Excel handles the function and you now need to add "@" before "lookup value" to prevent a SPILL error. Perhaps you can update the formula?

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