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Excel/Data validation/Vlookup


I am using data validation list. and the VLOOKUP function with this formula:
= HYPERLINK.(VLOOKUP(D5;'Sheet3'!A1:C340,2))
The problem is if some of the data in Sheet3 column A is like, the VLOOKUP function, cannot tell them apart.
* The validation is in sheet1 D5
* Data is on sheet 3

Exempel sheet 3
Column A  Column B
John       budget 2012
John       budget 2013
Per        sale
Petter     Sale
In the validation list John appears 2 times and I can choose between them, but in cell D7 where the formula is, only the first choice show up.(budget 2012)
I assume this is because the formula cannot see the difference between the two John
Can you help me?

It's not only that the "formula" can't see the difference, neither can you or I? If I told you what is in column B for "John", you don't know which one either! You need distinct John's, perhaps add a space to the 2nd one, and 2 spaces to the 3rd one (if there is one), etc.

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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."

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BA in math, Hofstra University, 1965

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

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