Excel’s xlookup function is a powerful tool for searching and returning values from a range or array. It is similar to the popular vlookup function, but with additional features and capabilities that make it more flexible and efficient. This function can be used in a variety of situations, including data analysis, financial modeling, and reporting.
One of the main benefits of the xlookup function is its ability to search both vertically (columns) and horizontally (rows). This is known as a “two-way lookup,” as opposed to the traditional one-way lookup of vlookup. This feature allows users to search for values in either direction, depending on the layout and structure of their data.
In addition to its two-way lookup capability, the xlookup function also offers several other advanced features. These include:
- The ability to perform an approximate match, rather than an exact match. This is useful when dealing with data that may have slight variations or rounding errors.
- The ability to specify multiple search columns, rather than just one. This allows users to search for values across multiple columns, rather than just a single column.
- The ability to specify multiple return columns, rather than just one. This allows users to return multiple values from a single lookup, rather than just a single value.
- The ability to specify a default value to return if no match is found. This is useful for handling cases where the search value is not present in the lookup range.
To use the xlookup function, you will need to specify several arguments, including the value to search for, the range or array to search in, and the column to return. Here is the basic syntax for the xlookup function:
=xlookup(search_value, search_range, return_column, [match_mode], [search_mode], [default])
The search_value argument is the value that you are looking for in the search_range. This can be a cell reference, a value, or a formula.
The search_range argument is the range or array that you want to search in. This can be a single column, a single row, or a multi-column or multi-row range.
The return_column argument is the column that you want to return a value from. This can be a single column or multiple columns, depending on the value of the search_value.
The optional match_mode argument specifies whether to perform an exact match or an approximate match. This can be set to “exact” for an exact match, or “approximate” for an approximate match. If this argument is omitted, the default value of “exact” will be used.
The optional search_mode argument specifies the direction of the search. This can be set to “row” for a horizontal search, or “column” for a vertical search. If this argument is omitted, the default value of “column” will be used.
The optional default argument specifies the value to return if no match is found. This can be a cell reference, a value, or a formula. If this argument is omitted, the default value of “#N/A” will be used.
To better understand how the xlookup function works, let’s look at a few examples.
Let’s say we have a table of employees with their ID, name, and department. We want to find the department of an employee with a specific ID. We can use the xlookup function as follows:
=xlookup(A2, employees[ID], employees[department], “No department found”)
Where A2 is the cell containing the employee’s ID, employees[ID] is the column of IDs in the employees table, employees[department] is the column of departments in the employees table, and “No department found” is the result we want to display if the employee’s ID is not found in the table.
Let’s say we have a table of products with their ID, name, and price. We want to find the price of a product with a specific name. We can use the xlookup function as follows:
=xlookup(B2, products[name], products[price], “No price found”)
Where B2 is the cell containing the product’s name, products[name] is the column of names in the products table, products[price] is the column of prices in the products table, and “No price found” is the result we want to display if the product’s name is not found in the table.