How To Do Vlookup In Excel With Two Spreadsheets

When it comes to working with multiple Excel spreadsheets, one of the most useful functions is VLOOKUP. As a data enthusiast, I often find myself leveraging this powerful tool to quickly and accurately retrieve information from different sheets. In this article, I’ll guide you through the process of performing a VLOOKUP between two Excel spreadsheets, sharing some personal insights and tips along the way.

Setting the Stage

Before diving into the VLOOKUP process, ensure that you have both spreadsheets open in your Excel workbook. This will allow for seamless navigation between the sheets as we begin the lookup function.

Understanding the Syntax

As I delve into the intricacies of VLOOKUP, it’s important to grasp the syntax. The basic structure of the VLOOKUP function involves the following:

=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])

The lookup_value is the piece of data you want to find, the table_array is the range of cells that contains the data, col_index_num refers to the column number in the table from which the matching value should be retrieved, and range_lookup is an optional argument that denotes whether to find an exact or approximate match. Understanding these components is pivotal to the success of the VLOOKUP function.

Executing the VLOOKUP

Now that we’re equipped with the necessary foundational knowledge, let’s proceed with executing the VLOOKUP function. Start by selecting the cell where you want the VLOOKUP result to appear. Then, enter the following formula:

=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, [sheet_name]!table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])

Replace lookup_value with the specific value you want to find, sheet_name with the name of the sheet where the table array is located, and col_index_num with the appropriate column number. For instance, if I’m searching for a student’s grade in the second spreadsheet, my formula might look like this:

=VLOOKUP(A2, Sheet2!A2:B10, 2, FALSE)

Handling Errors

As with any Excel function, errors can arise when performing a VLOOKUP. One common error is the #N/A error, indicating that the lookup value could not be found. To mitigate this, consider using techniques such as IFERROR to display a custom message when an error occurs.

Personal Touch: Tips and Tricks

Based on my experience, there are a few additional tips that can enhance your VLOOKUP proficiency. Firstly, always ensure that the lookup column is placed on the leftmost side of the table array. This is a prerequisite for VLOOKUP to function correctly. Secondly, be mindful of absolute and relative cell references when copying the VLOOKUP formula to other cells. Using absolute references for the table array can prevent unexpected changes in the lookup range.


Mastering the art of performing VLOOKUP between two Excel spreadsheets elevates your data manipulation capabilities, paving the way for efficient data analysis and decision-making. With a solid understanding of the VLOOKUP syntax and execution, complemented by practical tips, you’re well-equipped to harness the full potential of this function within your spreadsheet endeavors.