How to Compare Two Columns in VLookup

Updated April 17, 2017

Vlookups are useful tools for searching and comparing data in your spreadsheet. When used properly, they can display exact values in large spreadsheets quickly. Vlookups consist of four parts: the lookup value, the range containing the value, the column to display once a match is found and the type of match. The vlookup searches the first column for the lookup value. Once this is found, the function returns the cell in the corresponding row.

Open Excel 2010 and select a workbook. Click the "File" tab and select "Open." Browse the files and locate the workbook. Click the workbook and select the "Open" button. The workbook opens.

Sort the values that will be included in the vlookup. The first column needs to sort in ascending order. Click in the first cell of the third column. Click the "Formulas" tab and select the "Lookup & Reference" button. Select "Vlookup" from the list of functions. The function arguments window opens.

Click the "Lookup value" field. Click the red arrow. Select the first cell in the third row. Click the "Table Array" field. Click the "Red Arrow." Highlight the data in the two columns. Click the "Column Index Number" field. Type "2." Once the matched vlookup value is found, it will return the cell value in the 2nd column.

Type "False" in the "Range Lookup" field. False indicates an exact match while true will find a close enough match. Click "OK." Excel will compare the lookup value against the two columns in your spreadsheet and display the cell value in the second column if a match is found.

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About the Author

Emmanuelle Douglas has been an avid writer since 1990. Her first professional writing assignment was for "Oscar News," a local corporate Intranet website. She holds a Bachelor of Science in mathematical sciences from Clemson University.