Instructor for this course

In this comprehensive presentation, Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA, introduces you to several lookup functions, including VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, MATCH, and CHOOSE. These powerful Excel functions allow you to rapidly develop accurate spreadsheets and look up information, such as pay rates, item prices, and accounting results, versus manually linking to specific cells. Step-by-step, David explains the context of when to use lookup functions, demonstrates troubleshooting techniques, and prepares you to deal with subtle issues that can prevent them from working properly.

David demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in Excel 2016. He draws your attention to any differences in Excel 2013, 2010, or 2007 during the presentation as well as in his detailed handouts. David also provides an Excel workbook that includes most of the examples he uses during the webcast.

Topics Covered:

  • Comparing the MIN, SMALL, MAX, and LARGE functions.
  • Employing the SUMIF function to sum values related to multiple instances of criteria you specify.
  • Exploring why VLOOKUP sometimes returns #N/A instead of a desired result.
  • Future-proofing VLOOKUP by referencing entire columns when available.
  • Future-proofing VLOOKUP by using Excel’s Table feature versus referencing static ranges.
  • Implementing Data Validation to ensure users make choices that VLOOKUP will recognize as valid.
  • Improving the integrity of spreadsheets with Excel’s VLOOKUP function.
  • Learning what types of user actions can trigger #REF! errors.
  • Reconstructing spreadsheet data to use VLOOKUP as a better alternative to nesting IF functions.
  • Simplifying multiple-field lookups with concatenation (combining fields into a single cell).
  • Troubleshooting other errors VLOOKUP can present, such as #REF!, #NAME!, and #VALUE!.
  • Understanding situations that cause Excel’s VLOOKUP function to return #REF! instead of a value.

Learning Objectives

  • Explore the purpose of the column_index_num argument within VLOOKUP.
  • Identify the arguments used by the SUMIF function.
  • Identify the data-integrity improvement the Table feature adds to VLOOKUP.
Last updated/reviewed: November 18, 2019

14 Reviews (47 ratings)Reviews

Member's Profile
Davids Excel courses are the best a-z instructions. Could deal with less version explanation like a college professor telling those two kids where in the old book to follow along. Otherwise solid course for intermediate level users or beginners.
Member's Profile
I liked that VLOOKUP was very well explained, but even more that David explained what to do when you know VLOOKUP isn't working as you wish, but you are not sure where to start looking for the problem or how to fix it.
Anonymous Author
This was a lot of information to take in. However, I did learn a quite a bit. It is useful information and I can see myself referring to the lesson from time to time.
Member's Profile
Very good concise review of VLookup, and there always seems to be something new in David's presentations even when they say Introduction.
Anonymous Author
Excellent explanation of how to incorporate lookup formulas. The instructor is very good at explaining and demonstrating the steps.
Anonymous Author
Included a good number of formulas and examples to use. Questions at the end were relevant to topics covered.
Anonymous Author
Easy to follow information presented to reduce redundancy of cell equals and copy, paste in a worksheet.
Member's Profile
Professor clearly explains the formulas and their uses while also providing great examples.
Anonymous Author
This this is a great course for learning how to use vlookup. Very clear instruction.
Anonymous Author
This is a great refresher course for excel users who have not used excel in a while.
Anonymous Author
Great course. Good use of visuals in step by step process. Very thorough.
Anonymous Author
Excellent resource for Lookup formulas, very easy to digest, thanks!
Anonymous Author
Great course, I truly enjoyed the instructor and learned a lot.
Member's Profile
Easy to follow. Liked the flow and variety of information.


Course Complexity: Intermediate

No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course.

Education Provider Information

Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Course Syllabus
  10:01Introduction to Excel Efficiency: Introduction to Lookup Functions
  10:29Address - Formula
  9:37Extraneous Spaces Triggers #N/A in VLOOKUP
  9:27Future - proofing VLOOKUP
  8:39Undoing the Table Feature
  8:44VLOOKUP/DATA Validation
  9:41City, State Zip - Formula
  9:25Perfecting the Item ID Lookup
  8:08Approximate Matches
  1:41:21Excel Efficiency: Introduction to Look-Up Functions
  PDFSlides: Excel Efficiency: Introduction to Lookup Functions
  PDFExcel Efficiency: Introduction to Lookup Functions Glossary/Index
  XLSXExcel Efficiency: Introduction to Lookup Functions Bonus Articles