You might be familiar with Excel’s VLOOKUP feature to find specific values and reference columns in a table array. But thanks to the newer XLOOKUP function, you now have access to greater versatility. Imagine, for example, that you need to look up one value, but return two other values. VLOOKUP won’t do this, but XLOOKUP makes it easy. Let’s learn how to use XLOOKUP in Microsoft Excel.
How to Use XLOOKUP in Microsoft Excel
Imagine a list of data, containing email addresses, names, and more. The email addresses are on the right, and names are on the left. You want to look up an email address and have Excel return both the first and last name of its owner. This won’t work in VLOOKUP, for two reasons: VLOOKUP searches only to the right, and it won’t return multiple variables.
This is the perfect time to use XLOOKUP. With your data formatted like this, click into cell H6. As you can see, the email address input is in cell G6. Excel will look up this value, and return the corresponding name in cell H6 and I6.
In cell H6, type =XLOOKUP( to open your formula. Excel will first ask for the lookup value, which is found in cell G6. Click G6, then add a comma:
Now, Excel needs the range in the data containing the email addresses. Click and drag to select C2:C14:
Finally, you’ll need the return array – the columns containing the data you want returned. Here, the return array is A2:B14. Close the parentheses, completing your formula as follows:
Hit Enter, and Excel will return the first and last name associated with the email address in cell G6.
As you can see, XLOOKUP is a fast, versatile way to work with data in Microsoft Excel. Try it next time you need to perform complex lookups to return values quickly.