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A few days ago, precisely at noon (GMT) on the 28th of Aug, 2019, Microsoft released a new function the XLOOKUP to Excel insiders.

As a teacher of Excel, I was keen and have just watched the preview by Bill Jelene (Mr Excel).

This sure is a crazy function, it has rubbished our popular VLOOKUP function. I thought the INDEX and MATCH functions were VLOOKUP’s greatest conqueror, then I stumbled on DGET last year after one of my training classes with one of Nigeria’s big banks. I concluded that DGET is in strong competition with INDEX and MATCH in the fight for supremacy over VLOOKUP.

And now Boooom, XLOOKUP has landed, after watching the preview, I knew the time has come for progressive spreadsheet users to either bury VLOOKUP or just let it lie in the morgue. For me I have left VLOOKUP for the foundation excel users, I am even thinking of taking it out of my Advanced Excel module, except that the average Nigerian user still sees VLOOKUP as a little King. I want to talk INDEX and MATCH, I want to talk DGET and I want to discuss XLOOKUP when it finally hits the table of the masses. VLOOKUP, you be old school, I don waka, I have moved on …this is August 2019.

XLOOKUP can look leftward with ease; an impossible task for my VLOOKUP friend, XLOOKUP do not rely on column index number so the problem of breaking the chain when a new column is inserted between the selected data array no longer exist…waooo…… I hail you Bill Gate.

Let’s take a look at the logic syntax of XLOOKUP:

=XLOOKUP(lookup_value, lookup_array, return_array, [match_mode], [search_mode])


  • lookup_value – This is the value to find (same as VLOOKUP)
  • lookup_array – This is the lookup column (not necessarily first column to the left as in VLOOKUP)
  • return_array – return column (not column index number as in VLOOKUP)
  • [match_mode] – 0 for exact match by default + more (different from VLOOKUP)
  • [search_mode] – 1 for first-to-last + more (different from VLOOKUP)

Now the fight for supremacy in the LOOKUP functions is certainly between INDEX AND MATCH and XLOOKUP and probably DGET also. Let the context continue.


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Dan Karo Ezuzu

Managing Consultant

Tabs & icons Consulting, Lagos.

Tel: +2348178202020



Another feather to Tabs & Icons Consulting as it gets accredited by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) along with 9 other companies to render Training Services for the Banking and Finance Industry.

The picture shows the President/Chairman of Council, CIBN- Prof. Segun Ajibola, FCIB, Present the certificate of accreditation to the Managing Consultant Tabs & icons Consulting, Mr Dan Karo Ezuzu, FCA. Others in the picture are Head Business Development Tabs & icons Consulting, Mrs Bukola Boyejo, Registrar/Chief Executive- Mr Seye Awojobi, FCIB, Chairman, CIBN Capacity Building & Certification Committee - Prof. P.O Olanrewaju, PhD, FCIB.

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