XLOOKUP function in Microsoft Excel – an easier way to extract data from spreadsheets, only for Office 365 users

Published: 15 October 2021
Published: 15 October 2021

Regardless of your spreadsheet expertise, using built-in functions is easier than it seems and can be a valuable timesaver.

From finding an employee name based on their ID number, to finding a product by its product number, XLOOKUP is a valuable tool that allows you to extract specific information when dealing with large sets of data.

XLOOKUP is in addition to VLOOKUP, the older version of this function, and is a major improvement on its predecessor, providing more flexibility, extra functionality and, most importantly, being easier to use when it comes to finding specific data from a range.

With VLOOKUP, data has to be organised so that the value you look up (e.g. the product number) is to the left of the return value (e.g. the product name) you want to find. With XLOOKUP, it doesn’t matter which side the return column is on.

As well as this, XLOOKUP has the following added improvements:

  1. Can look up data vertically or horizontally
  2. A single formula can return multiple items, such as employee name and department
  3. The code to look up can be in any column or row of the table
  4. Characters such as ‘*’ and ‘?’ can be used
  5. Corks in any direction (top down, bottom up, left to right, and right to left)
  6. Searches a data range and returns the item corresponding to the first match it finds, returning exact matches by default
  7. If no exact match exists, XLOOKUP can return the closest approximate match
  8. It can specify a particular value or message if information that doesn’t exist in the set of data is requested

Whilst this may sound too good to be true, the important thing to remember is that the XLOOKUP function is only available to Microsoft Office 365 users, so you could be missing out on this timesaving and stress-reducing formula if you use the standard Microsoft Office suite.

Hosted by Microsoft and supported by Infuse, Microsoft’s Office 365 suite of products offers a multi-functional cloud service, allowing you to work anywhere, at anytime, on any device. Office 365 can keep you up to date with the latest software and security features, and also comes with built-in disaster recovery.

For more information on how Office 365 can upgrade the way you do business, or finding the Cloud solution that’s perfect for you, please get in touch.

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