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## Excel Tip – Flag Multiple Matches In Your VLOOKUP Formula

This article will explore the Excel VLOOKUP Formula and show you how to combine it with an IF statement to flag if multiple lookup values ​​match in your data set.

VLOOKUP is really great for pulling data from a large Excel spreadsheet, but sometimes in a large data set there may be many values ​​that can be returned from your VLOOKUP array.

Here’s a great data extract to explore an example with. It includes machine parts sales units by City and State. My data starts at B3 and ends at D10 in my Excel worksheet.

City State Parts Sold

Jacksonville FL 474047

Los Angeles CA 299723

Orlando FL 405426

San Fran CA 473695

Atlanta GA 326085

Rochester NY 264132

San Diego CA 310811

Let’s go ahead and create a simple VLOOKUP formula and see what is returned. The following formula reads –

=VLOOKUP(H4,C3:D10,2,FALSE)- My lookup value is in cell H4.

We can see that Excel has correctly returned the first value found in the data set when it matched the CA lookup value showing 299723 as the result.

However, we may need to know if there is a second or third (multiple) value in our data set. We can easily answer this question by putting an IF statement in our VLOOKUP formula to give us the answer.

Let’s talk about the formula we can use.

The parameters of the IF statement are: COUNTIF(C:C,H4)>1.

What this does is count all instances of cell values ​​of H4 in Ccolumn C. So this example counts as 3 instances of CA in our data. Since this is greater than 1, it represents the value TRUE which we can set to be anything we want.

The TRUE value returned in my example is the words “PRESENT RESPONSE”. If the values ​​are not greater than 1, then it will display the FALSE result, which is the actual VLOOKUP that Excel will then return.

Now we can download the formula like a regular VLOOKUP formula, and identify multiple matches in our data by displaying “ONE ANSWER”.

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