You are here:

# Excel/VLookup pulls a near match

Question
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?

Ginger,

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

VLOOKUP(J8,Sheet2!A:B,2,False)

or

VLOOKUP(J8,Sheet2!A:B,2,0)

--
Regards,
Tom Ogilvy
Questioner's Rating
 Rating(1-10) Knowledgeability = 10 Clarity of Response = 10 Politeness = 10 Comment Oh, that was great! Ooops, I had it wrong but WOOHOO, it was such a quick fix! Thanks, Tom, you're the best!

This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (or workbook) stand-alone or Mircrosoft Office Excel including Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Excel help on Excel formulas(or functions), Excell macros, charting in Excel, advanced features, and the general use of Excel. This does not provide a general Excel tutorial nor the basics of using a spreadsheet. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Excel only. If you do not see your Excel question answered in this area then please ask an Excel question here

#### Tom Ogilvy

##### Expertise

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.]

##### Experience

Extensive experience.

Education/Credentials
Master of Science (MS) degree Operations Research (ORSA)

Awards and Honors
Microsoft MVP in Excel.