In this tutorial, we will be demonstrating how to perform a case-sensitive lookup in Excel using the combination of the VLOOKUP, INDEX, MATCH, and EXACT functions. Using these functions, we can quickly and easily search and retrieve specific information from large datasets. In this tutorial, we will be showing you step-by-step how to set up and perform a case-sensitive lookup in Excel.
Limitations of VLOOKUP. VLOOKUP is a powerful function in Excel that allows users to quickly and easily search for and retrieve specific information from large datasets. However, one of its limitations is that it performs a case-insensitive search, meaning it doesn’t take the case of the text into account when searching for a match.
This can be problematic when working with datasets that contain texts that are identical except for the case of the letters, as the VLOOKUP function will return the first match it finds, regardless of whether the case of the searched text matches the case of the text in the dataset. This can lead to inaccurate or unexpected results.
In this example, we want to retrieve the email of RODRI Lovela, using the first name only. However, in the name column, there are two instances of Rodri: “RODRI” and “Rodri.”
When using VLOOKUP, since it does a case-insensitive search, even if we use the EXACT syntax in the function, it will return the first instance of Rodri it comes across, which is Rodri Gueza’s email, which is not the email we want.
To overcome this limitation, we will use a combination of functions like EXACT, MATCH, and INDEX, which allow for a case-sensitive search.
Performing a case-sensitive lookup. Using the same example, we will use a combination of the EXACT, MATCH, and INDEX functions. To begin, we must first understand each function and how it functions.
EXACT() Function. The EXACT function in Excel is used to compare two pieces of text and determine if they are exactly the same. The function takes two arguments, both of which must be text. It then compares the two pieces of text character by character, taking into account case sensitivity, and returns the value “TRUE” if the text is exactly the same, or “FALSE” if it is not.
In this example, we can use the EXACT function to find RODRI in the array.
Using the MATCH() Function. The MATCH function in Excel is used to search for a specific value in a range of cells and returns the relative position of that value in the range. The function takes two arguments: the value you are searching for and the range of cells where you are searching.
With the EXACT function, we can use these two to find in what position the cell of RODRI is located within the range. To do this, we will let MATCH return the cell position when EXACT()’s result is TRUE. The formula should look like this: =MATCH(TRUE,EXACT(H3,B2:B14)).
This tells Excel that if the cells within B2:B14 that are TRUE based on the condition that cells B2:B14 are exactly the same as H3, which is RODRI
Using the INDEX() Function. The INDEX function in Excel is used to retrieve a value from a specific position in a range of cells. The function takes two or three arguments: a range of cells and the row and column numbers of the cell you want to retrieve the value from.
In the same example, we want to retrieve the email of RODRI. To do this, we can use the INDEX function in conjunction with the previous two functions to get the value we want. With the MATCH and EXACT functions, we figured out what row number RODRI and their email is (13). We can then use the INDEX function. Type in the formula: =INDEX(D2:D14,MATCH(TRUE,EXACT(H3,B2:B14))).
This tells Excel to return the value in D2:D14 that corresponds to the cell number that matches the cells within B2:B14 that are TRUE based on the condition that cells B2:B14 are exactly the same as H3.
Performing a case-sensitive search in Excel can be achieved by using the combination of the INDEX, MATCH, and EXACT functions, rather than using the VLOOKUP function alone. The VLOOKUP function is a powerful tool for searching for and retrieving specific information from large datasets, but it has the limitation of it being case-insensitive. By using the combination of the INDEX, MATCH, and EXACT functions, you can ensure that your search results are accurate and that the case of the data being searched is taken into account. This can be especially useful when working with datasets that contain text that is identical except for the case of the letters. By using these functions in combination, you can perform a case-sensitive search in Excel and retrieve accurate results.