How to use Excel Index Match (the right way)

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How to do Index Match in Excel: The basics. Watch this video tutorial to find out how you can use Index & Match for more complex lookup problems. This video shows you how Index Match works with simple and to the point explanation. It first shows you how Index works on it’s own and then how Match works and then puts the two Excel functions together.

Why index match is better than vlookup & why use index match
instead of vlookup?

Here are 3 reasons why Excel experts generally substitute VLOOKUP with INDEX and MATCH.
1. Unlike VLOOKUP, which searches only to the right, INDEX and MATCH can look in both directions – left and right.
2. INDEX & MATCH can perform two-way lookups by both looking along the rows and along the columns to find the intersection within a matrix.
3. INDEX & MATCH is less prone to errors. Assume you have a VLOOKUP where the final value you want returned is in column N. Your lookup value is in column A. You need to highlight the entire A to N range and then provide your index number to be 14. If you happen to delete any of the in-between columns, you would have to update that index number. You don’t need to worry about this when you use INDEX & MATCH.

All in all, INDEX and MATCH is more flexible than VLOOKUP.
Here are some of the reasons why Excel experts generally substitute VLOOKUP with INDEX and MATCH.

Note: Index match is not case sensitive

Index explained:

The first argument of INDEX is to give it an array. This array (range) should include your answer. You then need to specify how many rows to go down and how many columns to move to find the correct value. You cannot move outside the INDEX range.
The syntax of INDEX is:

• The range where the return value resides.
• Number of rows to move down (the row index)
• Number of columns to move to the right (the column Index). This argument is optional. If you only have one column, you can leave the column argument empty, otherwise, you need to specify the number of columns to move over, in the range.

The MATCH function’s syntax is as follows:

• Like VLOOKUP, Match needs a lookup (target) value. The user can reference a cell or directly type the value into the formula.
• Lookup_array: The “list” (range) where the return values are located.
• Match_type: 0 for an “exact” match.

Index MATCH used together:

When INDEX and MATCH are used together, the MATCH function finds the look up value’s row / column index and then hands this value off to the INDEX function to get the lookup value.

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Time Stamps:
00:00 Is INDEX & MATCH the same as VLOOKUP?
00:52 Excel INDEX function explained
05:07 Excel MATCH function explained
06:29 Using INDEX & MATCH together
08:08 Two way lookup with INDEX & MATCH (data validation)
10:30 How to REALLY learn Excel INDEX & MATCH

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31 thoughts on “How to use Excel Index Match (the right way)

  1. This is amazing. I just started a new job this week and I never used Index and match before. This helped me out a ton. Thanks

  2. OMG this explanation indepth is amazing! Im a data science student and index match was my first confusion taking excel course. U helped me out!

  3. HI GUYS AND LADIES
    ONE QUESTION
    I HAVE TWO TABLES
    AS SHOWN
    1 2 3 5 1 2 3 4 5
    …..
    LEFT SIDE 4 COLUMNS RIGHT TABLE 5 COLUMNS
    THOUSANDS OF ROWS
    I WANT TO FIND IN RIGHT TABLE HOW MANY TIME AND WHERE IS EXACT MACHT OF LEFT TABLE
    IN ALL ROWS
    WHICH FUNCTION TO USE PLEASE AND HOW
    THANK YOU

  4. Looking your video, your taking more time to show the formula, so we go to look others,,
    Next time take 3mt for that

  5. I really like her presentation style. After she completes something, she always goes back to show why it works !!!! Not all excel lectureres have figured this out.

  6. hi there, is there anyone who can teach me how to mail merge "many to one" row datas? i've been searching for some method buts they seem to be complicated and some requires ad ons on excel.

  7. Superb explanation. I got this perfectly only by watching this Video. It's very clear and easy to understand. It's really appreciated and thank you vey much Ms. Gharani.

  8. I used index/match with an excel table. When I created the table, excel called it table1. I named it Materials. When using match with the range Materials, it gave me an error. When I replaced Materials with Table1 then it worked. Why? Index does work with both names.

  9. It's amazing, I'm using it for many years but never had such great concept as I got today. 🙂

  10. لیلا عزیز. خیلی ممنونم از فیلمهای آموزشی شما. این فیلمها برای یاد گرفتن آفیس به خصوص اکسل برای من خیلی کمک کننده بود. امیدوارم مانند همیشه در این مسیر موفق باشی

  11. Thank you so much! Your explanation is very easy to follow and understand. I am a recent grad and will be working next week! It is my first real job and my manager advised me to learn how to use index and match. The other videos and explanations that I looked up were so complicated and hard to understand until I found you! I also watched your other videos and downloaded your workbooks for practice as well. Very helpful! thank you!

  12. In short: Index is used to find the referred row value (match) in a referred column of the defined domain.

  13. Hi.. Why excel row height changes between computers. Both computers using same version of OS and Ms Office.

  14. The simple way I always thing about index and match is as follows:

    We need to make sure we know the followings:

    A = 'What to look for, the input if you like"

    B = 'In which list we can find the A'

    C = 'The answer we want to get back once we have found the item in list B or the output'

    Then just slot in the list references for lists B and C and the cell reference for A in the formula below.

    =INDEX(C, MATCH(A, B, 0))

    Basically for those moving from vlookup, where you would go in the order ABC so = VLookup(A,B,C(How many lines down),0) So here in "Index and Match" it is CAB instead of ABC.

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