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How to Vlookup From Another Spreadsheet on Google Sheets

May 8, 2024

If you have a large amount of interrelated data at hand, one of the most challenging things is finding specific data that you need across multiple sheets.  This is why Google Sheets came up with Vlookup, which helps people search for data needed from another sheet.

Most Google Sheets users tend to believe that using Vlookup is complicated and requires expertise in this field. However, the truth is that using this feature is really easy and convenient in many ways. In this article, we will give you a step-by-step process on how to use it.

Vlookup: What You Need to Know

True to its name, the Google Sheets feature Vlookup is very useful for vertical lookup. You can use it to search for a key-value (unique identifier) within a column in a specified range. Also, returning a value from another column in the same row is possible through this. Here is the syntax used in the Google Sheets Vlookup:

= VLOOKUP (search_key, range, index, [is_sorted])

How to Use Vlookup Across Spreadsheets

The function works on interrelated data across different worksheets in your Google Sheets. This way, you can easily find the data that you are looking for. As an example, here is a sheet for May Sales of a furniture shop. Now, looking for the total ordered amount of a specific person within a large number of data could be troublesome. This is why we are going to use VLOOKUP.

Google Spreadsheet named "May Sales" with various customer information data below

Here is the step-by-step process:

  1. In the first column of your sheet, put the value/s of what you are searching for.
  2. Type the command =vlookup and insert the values of the syntax that you are looking for (as described below). While you are inputting values in the function, Google Sheets will allow you to toggle between sheets within the same workbook and select the data you need!
  • Search_key: The value of what you are searching for. You can also call it a lookup value or unique identifier. You can either input the specific name that you are looking for or its value in the cell.
  • Range: The columns of the data that you are searching for. Note that the function of Google Sheets Vlookup always searches in the first column of the identified range.
  • Index: The column number in the range that contains the matching value in the same row as the search_key.
  • Is_sorted: This argument is only optional and indicates if the lookup column is sorted or not. If it is sorted, it will be tagged as TRUE and if not, it will then be tagged as FALSE.

Google Sheet with VLOOKUP function highlighted in red
The phrase "Sheet1!" in the second argument means it is getting data from a different spreadsheet (named Sheet1).
  1. Hit enter and voila! The value that you are looking for will automatically appear in the cell.
Google Sheet with Total Ordered Amount, fetched by VLOOKUP highlighted in red
  1. If you want to look for more values easily, type the values in the first column, select the cell where you used Vlookup, and stretch it down.
Same Google Sheet as above with more names and the Total Ordered Amount column now highlighted in red

*For more complicated cases, there are other steps that you should use on top of this!

Learn More About Google Sheets

One of the reasons you're here may be because there are still some things that you don’t know about Google Sheets! We hope you’ve gained some knowledge from this article, but if you're looking learn more and become a spreadsheet expert in no time, check out our other spreadsheet resources.

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