# How to VLookup Values from Left Columns?

Updated: Nov 9, 2019

**VLookup is one of the handy functions in Excel. Everyone knows how to use it to search for value from right columns. In this section, you will learn the opposite that most people don't know.**

"You have to set goals that are almost out of reach. If you set a goal that is attainable without much work or thought, you are stuck with something below your true talent and potential." -Steve Garvey

*Vlookup()* function works by looking in the first column of a table for the value you specify. It then looks across a specified number of columns and returns whatever value it finds there. The letter *V* stands for #*Vertical*. There is also *Hlookup()* for *#Horizontal* search which will be discussed in other sections.

**Vlookup(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num[, range_lookup])**

* looup_value: *This is the value you wanna find in the first column of

*. For example, a number, text or reference can be entered.*

**table_array*** table_array: *This is the table to use for the lookup. You can use a range reference or a range name. It's critical to determine the lookup direction. You will see the examples in this section.

* col_index_num: *If

*Vlookup()*finds a match,

*is the column number in*

**col_index_num***that contains the data you want returned.*

**table_array*** range_lookup: *This is a

*value that determines how Excel searches for*

**Boolean***in the first column. If you set it as*

**lookup_value***or*

**True***, it searches for the first exact match for*

**1***. If no exact match is found, the function looks for the largest value that is less than*

**lookup_value***. If you set it as*

**lookup_value***or*

**False***, it searches only for the first exact match for*

**0***. This is widely used in*

**lookup_value***Vlookup()*.

Now let us demonstrate *Vlookup()* with examples. Before, we will build an simple Employee table.

Example 1: If the full name of an employee is given, then finds the email address.

*=VLOOKUP(A14,B2:C11,2,FALSE)*

Example 2: If the full name of an employee is given, then finds the employee ID. Most people will copy the data of *Employee ID* from *Column A* to *Column D*. Actually it's not necessary. We can use *Choose()* function to build a new table whose first column is *Full Name* and second column is *Employee ID*.

*CHOOSE({1,2},B2:B11,A2:A11)*

The number* 1 *in the curly brackets {} stands for the first column of a table which is *B2:B11 *in this example.

The number* 2 *in the curly brackets {} stands for the second column of a table which is *A2:A11*.

The returned value of above *Choose()* function becomes the * table_array *of

*Vlookup()*function. With this, you can now lookup the value from the left columns. Cool?