# How to Use Index Match in Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel reigns as the go-to tool for data management, and mastering its features can elevate your efficiency. Today, we delve into the power duo: Index Match. This dynamic duo isn’t just for Excel wizards; even seventh-graders can grasp its magic.

## How to Use Index Match in Microsoft Excel

Index Match in Microsoft Excel is a powerful function combination that allows you to search for a value in a specific column and return a corresponding value from another column. It’s often preferred over the VLOOKUP function for its flexibility and efficiency. Let’s walk through the steps to use Index Match in Excel effectively.

• ### Step 1. Understand the Syntax

Before diving in, grasp the syntax of the Index Match function. The Index function returns the value of a cell in a specific row and column of a range. The Match function searches for a specified value in a range and returns the relative position of that item.

• ### Step 2. Identify Your Lookup and Return Columns

Determine which column contains the value you want to search for (lookup column) and the column from which you want to retrieve the corresponding value (return column.)

• ### Step 3. Use Index Match Formula

In an empty cell, enter the following formula:=INDEX(return_column, MATCH(lookup_value, lookup_column, 0)) Replace “return_column” with the range of cells containing the values you want to retrieve, “lookup_value” with the value you’re searching for, and “lookup_column” with the range of cells containing the values to be searched.

• ### Step 4. Press Enter

Once you’ve entered the formula, press Enter to execute it. Excel will return the corresponding value from the return column based on the matched value in the lookup column.

• ### Step 5. Drag the Formula Down

If you need to apply the formula to multiple rows, drag the fill handle (a small square at the bottom-right corner of the cell) down to copy the formula to adjacent cells. Excel will adjust the cell references automatically.

• ### Step 6. Double-Check Results

Always double-check the returned values to ensure accuracy. Verify that the formula returns the correct values based on your lookup criteria.

You may also find valuable insights in the following articles offering tips for Microsoft Excel:

Note

## FAQs

### What’s the difference between Index Match and VLOOKUP?

Index Match offers more flexibility and doesn’t require the lookup value in the first column.

### Can Index Match handle lookup arrays of different sizes?

Yes, Index Match can handle lookup arrays of different sizes with ease.

### Is Index Match case-sensitive?

By default, Index Match is not case-sensitive, but you can make it so by using additional functions like EXACT.

### Can Index Match search vertically and horizontally?

Yes, Index Match can search vertically and horizontally, making it versatile for various data structures.

### What happens if the lookup value isn’t found?

Index Match returns a #N/A error if the lookup value isn’t found, indicating no match.