In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the XLOOKUP formula in Excel, which is a powerful and versatile function that allows you to search for a value in a range or table and return a corresponding value from another range or table. We will cover the syntax, examples, tips and tricks, common mistakes, troubleshooting, and related formulae for the XLOOKUP function.
The XLOOKUP formula has the following syntax:
XLOOKUP(lookup_value, lookup_array, return_array, [if_not_found], [match_mode], [search_mode])
Here’s a breakdown of the arguments:
- lookup_value: The value you want to search for.
- lookup_array: The range or array where you want to search for the lookup_value.
- return_array: The range or array from which you want to return a value.
- [if_not_found] (optional): The value to return if the lookup_value is not found. If omitted, Excel will return an error.
- [match_mode] (optional): The match mode to use when searching for the lookup_value. If omitted, the default is 0 (exact match). Other options include -1 (exact match or next smaller item), 1 (exact match or next larger item), and 2 (wildcard match).
- [search_mode] (optional): The search mode to use when searching for the lookup_value. If omitted, the default is 1 (search from first to last). Other options include -1 (search from last to first), 2 (binary search in ascending order), and -2 (binary search in descending order).
Let’s explore some examples of using the XLOOKUP formula in Excel:
Example 1: Basic XLOOKUP
Suppose you have a list of products and their prices, and you want to find the price of a specific product. You can use the XLOOKUP formula as follows:
=XLOOKUP(“Product A”, A2:A10, B2:B10)
This formula will search for “Product A” in the range A2:A10 and return the corresponding price from the range B2:B10.
Example 2: XLOOKUP with if_not_found
Continuing with the previous example, if you want to return a custom message when the product is not found, you can use the if_not_found argument:
=XLOOKUP(“Product X”, A2:A10, B2:B10, “Product not found”)
This formula will return “Product not found” if “Product X” is not in the range A2:A10.
Example 3: XLOOKUP with match_mode
Suppose you have a list of students and their scores, and you want to find the score of a student with an exact name match or the next smaller name (alphabetically). You can use the match_mode argument:
=XLOOKUP(“John”, A2:A10, B2:B10, , -1)
This formula will search for “John” in the range A2:A10 and return the corresponding score from the range B2:B10. If “John” is not found, it will return the score of the student with the next smaller name alphabetically.
XLOOKUP Tips & Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the XLOOKUP formula:
- Use the if_not_found argument to return a custom message or value when the lookup_value is not found, instead of displaying an error.
- Use the match_mode argument to control how the lookup_value is matched in the lookup_array. This can be useful when you want to find an exact match or the next smaller/larger item.
- Use the search_mode argument to control the search order or perform a binary search when the lookup_array is sorted. This can help improve the performance of the formula in large datasets.
- XLOOKUP can be used to perform two-way lookups by nesting another XLOOKUP formula inside the return_array argument. This can be useful when you need to find a value at the intersection of a row and a column in a table.
- XLOOKUP can return multiple values by specifying a return_array with multiple columns or rows. This can be useful when you want to retrieve several related values for a given lookup_value.
Common Mistakes When Using XLOOKUP
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using the XLOOKUP formula:
- Not specifying the correct lookup_array and return_array ranges. Make sure the ranges are aligned and have the same number of rows or columns.
- Using incorrect match_mode or search_mode values. Double-check the values to ensure they match the desired behavior.
- Not handling errors when the lookup_value is not found. Use the if_not_found argument to return a custom message or value instead of displaying an error.
- Forgetting that XLOOKUP is not available in older versions of Excel. XLOOKUP is only available in Excel for Microsoft 365 and Excel 2021. In older versions, you can use VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, or INDEX and MATCH as alternatives.
Why Isn’t My XLOOKUP Working?
If your XLOOKUP formula is not working as expected, consider the following troubleshooting steps:
- Check the lookup_value, lookup_array, and return_array arguments for any errors or inconsistencies.
- Ensure that the match_mode and search_mode arguments are set correctly for your desired behavior.
- Use the if_not_found argument to handle cases where the lookup_value is not found in the lookup_array.
- Make sure you are using a version of Excel that supports the XLOOKUP function (Excel for Microsoft 365 or Excel 2021).
- Check for any errors in the data, such as extra spaces or inconsistent formatting, that may be causing the lookup_value not to match.
XLOOKUP: Related Formulae
Here are some related formulae that you may find useful when working with XLOOKUP:
- VLOOKUP: Searches for a value in the first column of a table and returns a value in the same row from a specified column. Useful for vertical lookups.
- HLOOKUP: Searches for a value in the first row of a table and returns a value in the same column from a specified row. Useful for horizontal lookups.
- INDEX: Returns the value at a specified row and column in a range or array.
- MATCH: Searches for a value in a range or array and returns the relative position of the value within the range or array.
- LOOKUP: Searches for a value in a one-row or one-column range and returns a value from the same position in a second one-row or one-column range. Useful for simple lookups.
By understanding the XLOOKUP formula and its various arguments, you can harness its full potential to perform powerful lookups and data retrieval tasks in Excel. Remember to consider the tips and tricks, avoid common mistakes, and explore related formulae to further enhance your Excel skills.