Vlookup is used to find and match data while referencing to cell to its right, vlookup cannot be used to reference the cells to the left of the reference cell, but we can create formulas to find the values to use reference to the left of the excel, Index, and match are such formulas which are combined together or we can use conditional formulas in the lookup function to find values to the left.

**Vlookup Left (Table of Content)**

## Excel Vlookup to the Left

VLOOKUP function is a very useful function in excel. It is used to obtain values over a reference cell from a specific column. But Vlookup cannot be used simply on the left in excel. In normal Vlookup we need the column numbers to find the value from a reference cell. And in Vlookups we can only find the data which are in the right columns to the reference cell.

Vlookup to the left or reverse vlookup is done to find the respective values which are in the left column of the reference cell. Another function apart from Vlookup used in Index and Match function.

### How to use Vlookup Left in Excel

To Use reverse lookup or Vlookup to the left there are two functions which can be nested in the vlookup function to find the values for a reference cell on the left column of the data table. They are:

In the above functions, we create an array data table and make excel assume that the data on the left column is actually on the right column and find the exact match.

### Method #1 – Vlookup Left in Excel Using IF Function

Usually, in Vlookup function, we search for values from left to right in a data table by the normal vlookup function it is not possible to search for a specific value from right to left. But in excel there are some tricks we can use to do that search. One such method is to use Vlookup with if Function.

For example, consider the following data below,

We have data for some employees and their employee id’s with their department name. In cell F2 we want to find the name of the employee in respect to the employee id provided to us. If the data for the employee name was on the right side of the ID column we would have used the simple vlookup function to find out the value.

In cell F2 Write the following formula,

We will explain later how this function but to see the result press enter and see the result.

Now drag the formula to cell F6 and see the result is shown below.

In the above formula, we have created an excel array of two tables, One of ID and one of the names. We are taking relative reference of id and searching them against the names from our array and show the exact match from the second column.

In the above formula, we are tricking excel to believe that the second column is actually A column.

### Method #2 – Vlookup Left in Excel Using Choose Function

Similar to what we did with the if function we can also use choose the function to find values using a vlookup function to the left of the data table. For the demonstration purpose, I will take the same data from above and make some slight changes in the data. Have a look at the data below.

This time around we will find the depart name with respect to the Id provided.

In cell F2 write the following formula,

Again I will explain the use of the function in detail below but first press enters to watch the result.

Drag the formula to the cell F6 and see the final result.

In the above example, we used to Choose Function nested in Vlookup to find the value on the right of the cell. Let me explain the choose function in detail:

- {1,2} This is the array created for the data table.
- In the first column, we selected the data from B column which is our relative reference.
- In the second column, we selected the data from A column which is the data we want.
- In our formula, the name column is the first column on the left and the Id column is the second column on the right.
- We used the VLOOKUP function to find the data from right to left using the choose function.
- This is also known as the reverse lookup in excel.

**Things to Remember**

There are few things which we need to remember in Vlookup to the left in excel:

- We need to create an array of data set for the reference.
- The array reference must be absolute.
- Vlookup to the left is also known as Reverse Vlookup in Excel.

You can download this Vlookup Left Excel Template here – Vlookup Left Excel Template

### Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Vlookup to the Left in Excel. Here we discuss how to use vlookup function from Right to Left in Excel using 1) IF Function & 2) Choose Function along with practical examples and downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –

- VLOOKUP in Excel Pivot Table
- Nested If Function in Excel
- Value Formula in Excel
- P Value Formula
- How to use VLookup with IF Statement?
- VLOOKUP vs HLOOKUP – Compare
- VLOOKUP from Another Workbook
- How to Fix VLOOKUP Errors?

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