The "HLookup" function in Excel is used to easily find data in a very large database or string of values housed in an Excel workbook. It stands for horizontal lookup, or looking across a set of rows in a spreadsheet. The inputs, which are detailed below, include a lookup value ("Lookup_value," or the specific figure you are looking for in a database of figures. The table array ("Table_array") defines the part of the database you are looking for. The "Row-index_num" input defines the horizontal row where you are looking to find the data. Finally, "Range_lookup" will help you find either the exact number you are looking for or the closest number available.

For example, suppose you have three products, each selling for $25, $55 and $75, respectively, and you record the quantities of each product sold on a spreadsheet. If you want to look up the amount of items sold for $55, simply input the =hlookup function. Under lookup_value, put the cell number of the desired figure you are searching for (in this case, $55.) Next, select a table array, which the function will use to search through your data. Finally, under row-index_num, insert the row number where the quantity will be found under the price you are searching for. If done correctly, =hlookup will result in a value of 17.

As you might have already guessed, the VLookup function is similar to HLookup, but the data you are looking for will be vertical, or in a column in Excel. The inputs are actually the same, the only difference will be how the data in an Excel file database are arranged. Returning to the above example, the price and quantities would be listed vertically in an Excel column.

Next: Guide To Excel For Finance: Linking Yahoo! Finance and Other Outside Financial Data To Excel »

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