How to Use the Offset Function Inside a VLookup in Excel

Vlookup in Excel

VLOOKUP in Excel

Each month, I get 5 to 6 emails of phone calls from viewers who who are having trouble using the VLOOKUP Function in Excel. In the majority of cases, the problem is that their Data Table is setup so that the “Key” field that they need to search in is NOT the Left-most or first field in the table. It is not always practical – nor desirable – to use “Cut and Paste” to rearrange the fields in the data set. So, what techniques can you use to fix this?

Use the OFFSET Function Inside a VLOOKUP Function

In this scenario, our IT Department sends us a daily report of the products that we sell including fields for the current cost and quantity on-hand. We use this report to generate additional reports and filters. This report gets saved automatically as an Excel 2010 Table with the name “Inventory.” The problem is,¬†whenusing a VLOOKUP, that the first – or Left-most – field is NOT the “Key” field that we want VLOOKUP to use to search for a Match in order to return the current price or inventory for individual product.

The OFFSET() Function in Excel, makes it easy to reference a “starting field” that, in this case, is one column to the Right. This is perfect for our situation. We can continue to use our “named range” with the VLOOKUP!

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Follow this link to watch this tutorial in High Definition on my YouTube Channel – DannyRocksExcels

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