This chapter discusses various techniques that you can use to look up a value in a range of data. Excel has three functions (
HLOOKUP) designed for this task, but you may find that these functions don’t quite cut it.
This chapter provides many lookup examples, including alternative techniques that go well beyond the Excel program’s normal lookup capabilities.
A lookup formula essentially returns a value from a table by looking up another related value. A common telephone directory provides a good analogy. If you want to find a person’s telephone number, you first locate the name (look it up) and then retrieve the corresponding number.
I use the term table to describe a rectangular range of data. The range does not necessarily need to be an “official” table, as created by Excel’s Insert Tables Table command.
Figure 15.1 shows a simple worksheet that uses several lookup formulas. This worksheet contains a table of employee data, beginning in row 7. This range is named ...