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Excel/Vlookup type of function to return the FORMULA


Good day Bob,
I would like to know if there is an Excel function that works like the VLOOKUP but instead of returning a value, it returns the FORMULA.

I know how to do it in VBA but want to stay away from programming as much as possible.

Thank you.

Not sure why you want to stay away from programming, but...
If the table you're looking up is in range A1:E20, for example, and you want to return the formula from column E, do this:
Select cell F1 (one column to the right of the returned column), then define a name, like fml, to be =Get.Cell(6,E1)
Then in Cell F1 enter =fml (you'll see the formula). Fill down to F20. Hide the column. DO the VLOOKUP as =VLOOKUP(whatever,A1:F20,6,false) instead of =VLOOKUP(whatever,A1:E20,5,false).

Should work fine.
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Bob Umlas


I`m a Microsoft Excel MVP (Most Valuable Professional) and have been since the inception of the program in 1995. I can answer every kind of Excel question except: API, Importing/exporting to other programs (powerpoint, word,...) Also check out my in-person training link at


Worked with MS Excel since version 0.99 (on the Mac!). Was contributing editor to Excellence Magazine, having written >300 articles. John Walkenbach said of me "I finally met someone who knows as much about Excel as I do."

Excellence, The Expert, Microsoft

BA in math, Hofstra University, 1965

Awards and Honors
Led sessions for the Convergence 2004-2006 seminar on Excel tips & tricks

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