How to use Excel Index Match (the right way)

June 15, 2020

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How to do Index Match in Excel: The basics. Watch this video tutorial to find out how you can use Index & Match for more complex lookup problems. This video shows you how Index Match works with simple and to the point explanation. It first shows you how Index works on it’s own and then how Match works and then puts the two Excel functions together.

Why index match is better than vlookup & why use index match
instead of vlookup?

Here are 3 reasons why Excel experts generally substitute VLOOKUP with INDEX and MATCH.
1. Unlike VLOOKUP, which searches only to the right, INDEX and MATCH can look in both directions – left and right.
2. INDEX & MATCH can perform two-way lookups by both looking along the rows and along the columns to find the intersection within a matrix.
3. INDEX & MATCH is less prone to errors. Assume you have a VLOOKUP where the final value you want returned is in column N. Your lookup value is in column A. You need to highlight the entire A to N range and then provide your index number to be 14. If you happen to delete any of the in-between columns, you would have to update that index number. You don’t need to worry about this when you use INDEX & MATCH.

All in all, INDEX and MATCH is more flexible than VLOOKUP.
Here are some of the reasons why Excel experts generally substitute VLOOKUP with INDEX and MATCH.

Note: Index match is not case sensitive

Index explained:

The first argument of INDEX is to give it an array. This array (range) should include your answer. You then need to specify how many rows to go down and how many columns to move to find the correct value. You cannot move outside the INDEX range.
The syntax of INDEX is:

• The range where the return value resides.
• Number of rows to move down (the row index)
• Number of columns to move to the right (the column Index). This argument is optional. If you only have one column, you can leave the column argument empty, otherwise, you need to specify the number of columns to move over, in the range.

The MATCH function’s syntax is as follows:

• Like VLOOKUP, Match needs a lookup (target) value. The user can reference a cell or directly type the value into the formula.
• Lookup_array: The “list” (range) where the return values are located.
• Match_type: 0 for an “exact” match.

Index MATCH used together:

When INDEX and MATCH are used together, the MATCH function finds the look up value’s row / column index and then hands this value off to the INDEX function to get the lookup value.

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All Comments

  • I like your vids

    Jeff Peebles June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • لیلا عزیز. خیلی ممنونم از فیلمهای آموزشی شما. این فیلمها برای یاد گرفتن آفیس به خصوص اکسل برای من خیلی کمک کننده بود. امیدوارم مانند همیشه در این مسیر موفق باشی

    Babak Tf Tf June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Thank you so much! Your explanation is very easy to follow and understand. I am a recent grad and will be working next week! It is my first real job and my manager advised me to learn how to use index and match. The other videos and explanations that I looked up were so complicated and hard to understand until I found you! I also watched your other videos and downloaded your workbooks for practice as well. Very helpful! thank you!

    Gia Ngo June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • In short: Index is used to find the referred row value (match) in a referred column of the defined domain.

    Jerrel Ajoeb June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Hi.. Why excel row height changes between computers. Both computers using same version of OS and Ms Office.

    PooiWai Kok June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Love you sweet! So nice of you !

    Monica Liu June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Nice knowleddge and good pronounciation

    Phannita Vongphanakhone June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • The simple way I always thing about index and match is as follows:

    We need to make sure we know the followings:

    A = 'What to look for, the input if you like"

    B = 'In which list we can find the A'

    C = 'The answer we want to get back once we have found the item in list B or the output'

    Then just slot in the list references for lists B and C and the cell reference for A in the formula below.

    =INDEX(C, MATCH(A, B, 0))

    Basically for those moving from vlookup, where you would go in the order ABC so = VLookup(A,B,C(How many lines down),0) So here in "Index and Match" it is CAB instead of ABC.

    Afroz Ahsan June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Thank you

    AMAN JAJOO June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • excellent

    A.A .J June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Helo,
    Dear Leila Gharani,
    Please help to buil a dynamic and updatable calander in Excel….

    A Rehman June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Hi Ma'am, how did you enable Power BI in ribbon?

    Puneet Gore June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • i love you. it has cleared me a great hurdle in handling a data of 752000 rows and 18 column data of every month. thank you very much.

    Bhagat Rishi June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Amount ID

    47,901.61 156

    47,901.61 157

    614.40 158

    Amount ID

    47,901.61 156

    47,901.61 156

    614.40 158

    Hi Laila, hope you are doing good. i used "Index and match" formula to pull the ID # in above data table, As amount 47901.61 is repeated , ID # are also pulled same which is 156( table-2), hope you understand my issue and how can i pull the id# 157 for the amount 47901.61 (second). Kindly solve it.

    Balaram Sahu June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Just great, Thanks. Index was really tough for me but your way of explaining cleared all my doubts Thanks again

    PRASANNA PRASANNA June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Thanks a lot. It is very easy to learn because you explained it in an outstanding manner. Thanks a lot.

    Muhammad Kamran Siddiqui June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Thank you very much! you taught me a very complex method in just a few minutes.

    Vivek Ananth June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Absolute awesome lovely videos thanks a lot Leila, since I need to replace some functions like Vlookup or Hlookup to speed up my worksheet's calculations, 'cause I am buiilding the models in Office 365's excel version but the spreadsheets are going to be used/running in an old 2010 Excel (V 14.0) version, however, I love the new functions like Xlookup, filter, etc. but in Mexico many companies are still using old Office versions , thanks again IOU

    Joseantonio Perez June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Hi Leila, Please share the tutorial of INDEX and MATCH function one sheet 1 to Sheet 2 through VBA Macro.

    maddy maddy June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • thank you!
    pleases provide the slicer .

    Anand Chavda June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • Hi leila, what if i want to find the total profit of game?

    Potatohead June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • What formula would you use, when you have 4 crête ria that than either be yes or no, but the combination of 4 can give a specific number?

    Johnny Lam June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • The map example was helpful. Examples help. Thanks.

    Shikhar Singal June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply
  • I am very comfortable with vlookup, IndexMatch,
    But was glued to entire video looking at you and listening to your deliberation

    Dr Aneek Gupta June 15, 2020 11:27 pm Reply

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