Documentation/Calc Functions/VLOOKUP

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Under construction.
For now, see the system Help files.

Function name:





Vertical search with reference to adjacent cells to the right. This function checks if a specific value is contained in the first column of an array. The function then returns the value in the same row of the column named by Index.


=VLOOKUP(SearchCriterion; Array; Index; SortedRangeLookup)



SearchCriterion is the value searched for in the first column of the array.

Array is the reference, which is to comprise at least as many columns as the number passed in Index argument.

Index is the number of the column in the array that contains the value to be returned. The first column has the number 1.

SortedRangeLookup is an optional parameter that indicates whether the first column in the array contains range boundaries instead of plain values. In this mode, the lookup returns the value in the row with first column having value equal to or less than SearchCriterion. E.g., it could contain dates when some tax value had been changed, and so the values represent starting dates of a period when a specific tax value was effective. Thus, searching for a date that is absent in the first array column, but falls between some existing boundary dates, would give the lower of them, allowing to find out the data being effective to the searched date. Enter the Boolean value FALSE or zero if the first column is not a range boundary list. When this parameter is TRUE or not given, the first column in the array must be sorted in ascending order. Sorted columns can be searched much faster and the function always returns a value, even if the search value was not matched exactly, if it is greater than the lowest value of the sorted list. In unsorted lists, the search value must be matched exactly. Otherwise the function will return #N/A with message: Error: Value Not Available.

See also Help page entitled Handling of Empty Cells.

Additional details:

If the Sorted parameter is omitted or set to TRUE or one, it is assumed that the data is sorted in ascending order. In this case, if the exact SearchCriterion is not found, the last value that is smaller than the criterion will be returned. If Sorted is set to FALSE or zero, an exact match must be found, otherwise the error Error: Value Not Available will be the result. Thus with a value of zero the data does not need to be sorted in ascending order.

The search supports wildcards or regular expressions. With regular expressions enabled, you can enter "all.*", for example to find the first location of "all" followed by any characters. If you want to search for a text that is also a regular expression, you must either precede every character with a "\" character, or enclose the text into \Q...\E. You can switch the automatic evaluation of wildcards or regular expression on and off in Tools - Options - LibreOffice Calc - Calculate.

When using functions where one or more arguments are search criteria strings that represents a regular expression, the first attempt is to convert the string criteria to numbers. For example, ".0" will convert to 0.0 and so on. If successful, the match will not be a regular expression match but a numeric match. However, when switching to a locale where the decimal separator is not the dot makes the regular expression conversion work. To force the evaluation of the regular expression instead of a numeric expression, use some expression that can not be misread as numeric, such as ".[0]" or ".\0" or "(?i).0".


You want to enter the number of a dish on the menu in cell A1, and the name of the dish is to appear as text in the neighboring cell (B1) immediately. The Number to Name assignment is contained in the D1:E100 array. D1 contains 100, E1 contains the name Vegetable Soup, and so forth, for 100 menu items. The numbers in column D are sorted in ascending order; thus, the optional Sorted parameter is not necessary.

Enter the following formula in B1:


As soon as you enter a number in A1 B1 will show the corresponding text contained in the second column of reference D1:E100. Entering a nonexistent number displays the text with the next number down. To prevent this, enter FALSE as the last parameter in the formula so that an error message is generated when a nonexistent number is entered.

Related LibreOffice functions:

ODF standard:

Equivalent Excel functions: