Excel University Blog

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MATCH

Excel and Budgeting

By Jeff Lenning | May 19, 2020 |

I recently wrote an article for the Minnesota Society of CPAs about a technique that helps you create budgets faster. Even if you don’t prepare budgets, the underlying features and functions used can be applied elsewhere. In summary, we use a data validation drop-down to provide several Budget Methods. Once you select a budget method…

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VLOOKUP Hack #10: Maslow’s Hammer

By Jeff Lenning | January 10, 2018 |

Psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote a line that is often referred to as Maslow’s Hammer. It goes something like this: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” I’ve heard the simplified version more often: “If all you have is a…

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VLOOKUP Hack #4: Column Labels

By Jeff Lenning | November 8, 2017 |

This is the 4th post in the VLOOKUP Hacks series. The first three posts have explored the 4th argument. Now, we are going to explore a hack for the 3rd argument. In this post, we’ll hack the 3rd argument so that it references column labels instead of the column position. Check it. Note: depending on…

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VLOOKUP vs INDEX-MATCH

By Jeff Lenning | May 25, 2017 |

There are numerous lookup functions in Excel, and often, their capabilities overlap. And, that is true with many things in Excel…there are often multiple ways to accomplish any given task. Performing lookups is no exception. So, how are we supposed to know which lookup function to use? Often, Excel users try to decide between VLOOKUP…

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Most Recent Transaction Date

By Jeff Lenning | March 9, 2017 |

I recently received a question about how to find the most recent transaction date of a list of items. There are a few fun ways to accomplish this, and so I thought I’d walk through three options. Thanks Darrell for your question! Objective The exact question from Darrell is: “I have a data table of…

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Two-Dimensional VLOOKUP

By Jeff Lenning | May 14, 2015 |

In this post, we’ll perform a two-dimensional lookup with Excel’s VLOOKUP function. Objective Let’s begin by clarifying our objective and what is meant by the term two-dimensional lookup. We have stored our price list in a table, and the price for each item varies based on the region. This is illustrated in the screenshot below. To…

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Simulate Structured References in Named Ranges

By Jeff Lenning | October 23, 2014 |

The table feature introduced in Excel 2007 is amazing and has nearly eliminated the need to build dynamic named ranges since tables auto-expand. Beyond auto-expansion, tables offer numerous other benefits, including, structured references which allow us to refer to an area within the table, such as a specific column. In this post, we’ll examine a method…

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Transpose Values and Formulas in Excel

By Jeff Lenning | September 4, 2014 |

In this post, we’ll explore three methods for transposing data in Excel. The first method can be used when you just want to quickly to transpose the values manually. The second method can be used when you want formulas to perform the transposition automatically based on the labels. The third method can be applied when…

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Create Dependent Drop-down Lists with Conditional Data Validation

By Jeff Lenning | February 7, 2014 |

This post explores macro-free methods for using Excel’s data validation feature to create an in-cell drop-down that displays choices depending on the value selected in a previous in-cell drop-down. Overview As with just about anything in Excel, there are several ways to achieve the goal. This post explores three such solutions, and if you have a…

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How to Return a Value Left of VLOOKUP’s Lookup Column

By Jeff Lenning | August 29, 2013 |

If you have ever tried to return a value that physically lies to the left of the lookup column, you quickly realize that this task is difficult to accomplish with the VLOOKUP function.  This is a perfect time to move beyond the VLOOKUP function and explore the INDEX and MATCH functions. Note: depending on your…

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