# How To Use Formula For Entire Column In Excel VLOOKUP – A Formula Review

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## VLOOKUP – A Formula Review

VLOOKUP is one of Excel’s most useful functions. It is also one of the most used formulas by professionals who want to extract data from flat tables. However, VLOOKUP is also abused and sometimes overrated.

A formula is designed with a specific purpose in mind: to search for a value in the left column and return the corresponding value in the other column. In other words: if the table has the field “Product Code” on the left, that table is only visible by “Product Code”.

If you want to work with a list with many and complex criteria, you don’t have to waste your time on this…

Here are some good reasons why you should use the VLOOKUP function:

• Searches for a value in a backward reference column and returns the value of the specified range
• It is easier to write than its counterpart APPENDIX & MATCH
• Returns the highest or lowest guess

Here are the pitfalls of why you shouldn’t use the VLOOKUP function:

• Search only the left index column
• It does not replace the value received
• It only gets the first instance
• It doesn’t look for multiple criteria

I still use VLOOKUP and enjoy the benefits and ease of writing it. I use it when I want to compare tables based on one column and dimensions. Many times, I need to move the required column in the back column to the left.

Finally, I use INDEX & MATCH; writing this formula is not obvious at first, but once you get used to it, you get used to it. It’s worth the effort, especially when you feel free to search any column of the table and have the ability to test multiple and complex methods. Highly recommended.

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