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Excel/VLookup pulls a near match


Hi, Tom.

Have you ever seen a problem with vlookup not pulling the right field?  

My formula is VLOOKUP(J8,Sheet2!A:B,2,1)
J8 is a employee ID field which has either an 8 digit number (43705179) or an initial and the last five digits (G05179.)

Sheet2 A:B has the employee list with all employee IDs (both formats in column A) and the employees name in column B.

The 2 in the string is saying I want the second column (the employee name) to be brought back.

The 1 means I want it IF J8 matches exactly

I explained my formula, hoping this is correct.

What the formula is doing is to bring back the first name it finds that's close to the same number.  For instance if 30011789 is what you're looking for, it will find 30011788 and give you that name.  

Is there something I missed in the formula?  Any ideas?


Your formula is equivalent to VLOOKUP(J8,Sheet2!A:B,2,True)  which the true/1 means first means a close match.

so this statement is wrong:  The 1 means I want it IF J8 matches exactly

You formula should be




Tom Ogilvy  
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Tom Ogilvy


Selected as an Excel MVP by Microsoft since 1999. Answering Excel questions in Allexperts since its inception in 2001. Able to answer questions on almost all aspects of Excel's internal capabilities. If seeking a VBA solution, please specify that in your question itself so I give you the answer you want. [Excel has weak protection - if you are distributing an application, I don't answer questions on how to protect your project from your users.]


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