VLOOKUP FUNCTION IN EXCEL Sometimes the number of “legs” in a decision tree is just too much for IF() to handle. VLOOKUP() is made for such situations. Here is an example of how VLOOKUP() works. Say that a bank charges interest on loans at a rate keyed to the amount of the loan. The rate is computed by spreadsheet, as shown below: The user enters the loan amount. The rate is computed by the VLOOKUP() formula that is in cell C5 (Here, “#N/A” is not an error message – this shows because no loan amount is yet entered). The loan amounts and related rates are shown in a “lookup table” in the range B9..C17. Assume that the user enters 700 in the input cell. The function looks up the correct rate and shows it in cell C5: If the user entered 800 in cell C3, the rate would change: The syntax of the VLOOKUP() function is: =VLOOKUP(Search value, lookup table range, number of column holding answer, T/F) In the example the search value is the input cell, C3. The table range is B9..C17. Column 2 in the range holds the answer value, the rate. True or False is an optional flag. If left out, True is assumed. True means that an exact match in the lookup table is not needed. False means that an exact match is needed. The code for this example is: With True set, the match is made with the largest value in column one that is less than or equal to the input value in C3. Thus, if 750 were entered, a match would be made with 700: If an exact match were required, False would be the fourth argument.