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## VLOOKUP Number – 3 Golden Rules You Can Implement Right Away to Avoid NA Errors

If you don’t know these 3 important rules, you may encounter some problems when doing VLOOKUP numbers in Excel…

- The VLOOKUP function will display the #N/A message when the lookup number does not have the same number of bits as the number in the left index of the table array.
- Excel VLOOKUP will return #N/A errors when a number is stored as text in the left index column.
- The Excel VLOOKUP function will display a #N/A message when a number contains quotation marks, as it does with text.

Golden Rule #1 is very important to do a successful VLOOKUP number in Excel!

Stop the headaches of trying to figure out why Excel is getting the error again. For example, the formula: =VLOOKUP(13270.00,$A$2:$C$6,3,0)… returns #N/A.

You usually know that the reference number 13270.00 is in the left index column.

The truth is, the error message means that the number does not exist. You tend to insist, yes the number is there because I can see it. Big mistake!

The back left column shows the number 13270.003 as 13270.00. What you see is not what you get, so in Excel all the digits count in the numbers game.

VLOOKUP Number Rule #2 – Never have numbers stored as text in an index column…

Why does Excel save a number as text?

Here are some common reasons: a number with a leading prefix, a number with a non-decimal delimiter, long numbers after being imported that can be converted back to text.

I’ll show you an example…

This VLOOKUP: =VLOOKUP(5250,$A$2:$C$6,3,0)… returns error #N/A

The reason is that the left index column has the number 5250 stored as text. You can tell by seeing the green symbol in the upper left corner of the cell. Another good tip for viewing numbers saved as text is that the text is automatically aligned to the left.

So the oddly aligned number on the left may be a text. Here’s a handy trick to convert numbers stored as text, to numbers, in difficulty.

- Select an empty cell
- Copy (basically zero to clipboard)
- Highlight cells with numbers stored as text
- Click Special (CTRL+ALT+V)>Add
- Click OK

VLOOKUP Number Big Rule #3 – Never write a lookup number in quotation marks…

For example, the formula, =VLOOKUP(“52503,$A$2:$C$6,3,0)… returns the message #N/A. I assume here that your left index column has numbers (5250 in this case). I refer to this because the formula: =VLOOKUP(“52503,$A$2:$C$6,3,0) will not return #N/A if the left column contains the number 5250 stored as text.

The fact that these small issues force you to adjust and have doubts about the results of the work, means that you will get more productivity when you use these rules…

You will speed up the process of writing the VLOOKUP formula and increase your confidence in the results. This, as I said, will increase your productivity in the end, and it is also my wish that it will quickly advance your work and your overall value in your work and in your work. Please keep enjoying working with your data, and let me know how you get on. I’m here to help, and I’m always happy to do so in any way I can.

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