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How to Get Month Names from Month Numbers in Excel Using VLOOKUP

Rice BowlPracticing the most important Excel function: VLOOKUP!

“Hold your horses Shir! I don’t know how to do a VLOOKUP!”
No problem, check out this post: The Most Important Excel Function You Will Ever Learn

Alright sparky here’s the deal…

You’ve got month numbers and you want to show them as month names.

Simple enough right?

Sure you could do that by hand. Then again, you could also eat a bowl of rice one grain at a time.

OR

You could use a VLOOKUP! Or a fork. I think you’ll figure out which one goes where ;).

The secret is all in the setup.

Watch this video where I take you through the creation of the lookup table, and then the writing of the VLOOKUP function.

That way, every time there was a month number, excel will now spit out a month name right next to it.

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Key Takeaways:

  • When using VLOOKUP make sure to set the stage first. I recommend creating your Lookup Table of reference values in a separate worksheet called “Lookup Values.” Also, set it up so the Lookup Value (input value) is immediately to the left of your VLOOKUP function.
  • Don’t forget to anchor your reference to the Table_Array (Lookup Table) by pressing F4.
  • Don’t forget to type a “,” (comma) after each argument, especially before moving on to the col_index_num argument.
  • Use FALSE for the last argument of [range_lookup] to get an Exact Match. This ensures that if there is no exact matching value, we will know about it immediately by seeing a “N/A” error, which means “Not Available.”

Here’s the spreadsheet from the video so you can try it out for yourself:
VLOOKUP Practice – Blank
VLOOKUP Practice – Answer Key

Was this helpful? If so, don’t keep it to yourself! Spread the Excel love by sharing this with a friend.

Think you’ve got a cool use for VLOOKUP? Leave a comment and tell me all about it! It’s okay, I’m a hardcore nerd…I’ll appreciate it :).

Happy VLOOKUP practicing!

P.S. Got a quick Excel question? Click here for on call Excel help for $3.33 per min.
P.P.S. Seriously, stop wasting hours on Google! Hop on a call with me and move on with your day!

The Most Important Excel Function You Will Ever Learn – Part 2

HEADLINEIn the previous post (The Most Important Function You Will Ever Learn) we looked at the VLOOKUP Function in detail.

Now we’re going to take it up a notch, Emeril Lagassi style.

“So Shir, I’ve got a list of values and I want to know which range it falls under.”

Sounds like the perfect job for VLOOKUP Approximate Match!

If you haven’t already done so, take a few minutes and watch this tutorial on VLOOKUP first.

Okay, so remember the last argument which I said should just stay as False? Well, here’s what happens if you use TRUE, and why that’s important.

Suppose you aren’t dealing with a list of finite values like a product price list, a database of names and phone numbers, or a list of Simpsons characters.

Suppose instead you’re dealing with something that involves a range of possible values, like figuring out which tax bracket you belong to for example.

Which brings me to tonight’s WORD (anyone else miss The Colbert Report?). Just kidding, but it does bring us to this video.

In one of my first videos ever produced (can you tell?) I walk you through how to create a VLOOKUP Approximate Match to give you the next closest match, instead of giving you a nasty #N/A error.

Use VLOOKUP Approximate Match to look up an input value (that falls within a particular range) on a reference table, and spit out another value that’s associated with that range.

Used commonly for scientific experiments, when a resulting measurement falls within a particular range, and must be associated with a specific value or name for that range.

VLOOKUP Arguments Explained:

lookup_value = What value do you want to use to find other values?
table_array = Where is the lookup table of other values?
col_index_num = Which column number (relative to the lookup table) is the data you want to find located in?
range_lookup = Do you want an Exact Match (FALSE) or Approximate Match (TRUE)?

Note: Excel does not need columns 2 and 3 (the “High End” and “Range Description”), but I strongly recommend setting it up this way to make it easier to understand.


As a bonus, I’m also attaching a downloadable excel spreadsheet from the video so you can try it out for yourself:
VLOOKUP Approximate Match – Blank
VLOOKUP Approximate Match – Answer Key

If this was helpful, do me a favor and send this to someone who you think would benefit. You’ll be making their day, and mine!

Also, leave a comment if any part of VLOOKUP Approximate Match still mystifies you, or simply share a time when you used VLOOKUP Approximate Match and it made you happier than a kid on a snow day. Either way I’d love to hear from you!

Happy VLOOKUP Approximate Matching!

P.S. Got a quick Excel question? Click here for on call Excel help for $3.33 per min.
P.P.S. Seriously, stop wasting hours on Google! Hop on a call with me and move on with your day!

The Most Important Excel Function You Will Ever Learn

Excel_Cartoon_Superman

FACT: Out of 400+ functions in Excel,
VLOOKUP has been selected as THE
indicator of Excel skills.

Don’t look at me, it wasn’t my decision.

So let me ask you this… Can you do a VLOOKUP?

If your answer is “no,” or a lukewarm “kinda sorta,” this video is perfect for you!

In this Excel VLOOKUP video tutorial, I break down all the 4 arguments of the function, and translate them into plain English (what a concept!)

Use the VLOOKUP function to look up an input value (usually an ID number) on a reference table and spit out another value that’s associated with it.

A common example is to look up a Product ID Number, and use it to find the price of that product from a price list.

VLOOKUP Arguments Explained:

lookup_value = What value do you want to use to find other values?
table_array = Where is the lookup table of other values?
col_index_num = Which column number (relative to the lookup table) is the data you want to find located in?
range_lookup = Do you want an Exact Match (FALSE) or Approximate Match (TRUE)?

Note: I highly recommend practicing this function over and over again until you get the hang of it. It’s quite challenging, but also extremely powerful.


As a bonus, I’m also attaching a downloadable excel spreadsheet from the video so you can try it out for yourself:
VLOOKUP Function – Blank
VLOOKUP Function – Answer Key

If this was helpful, do me a favor and send this to someone who’s about to go on a job interview, or spends a good amount of time in Excel. You’ll be making their day, and mine!

Also, leave a comment if any part of the VLOOKUP function still mystifies you, or simply share a time when you used VLOOKUP and it made your life 257% easier. Either way I’d love to hear from you!

Happy VLOOKUP’ing!

P.S. Got a quick Excel question? Click here for on call Excel help for $3.33 per min.
P.P.S. Seriously, stop wasting hours on Google! Hop on a call with me and move on with your day!