When looking up information in Microsoft Excel, you’ll regularly need to compare data against a table—and tables can be found in a variety of locations and formats. For example, in the image above you may need to find the appropriate tax rate in the table on the right for a given employee’s salary listed in the table on the left.
On the Formulas tab in the Excel ribbon, you’ll see a categories function called Look up and Reference. The two key functions for this type of task are VLOOKUP (V meaning vertical) and its companion function HLOOKUP (H meaning horizontal).
Why two functions instead of one? As shown in the image below, data tables can be found in horizontal and vertical orientations—so with two dedicated functions, you’re covered either way.