How to compare two columns in Excel using vlookup

Let’s assume you have a list of items for a grocery inventory, listed in a column. Then you have another column with all the mandatory items that must be in the inventory. If you want to verify that all the mandatory items are in the inventory, you can use the vlookup function. So to compare two columns in Excel using vlookup proceed as follows.

Step 1 – Select the cell where to insert the function

– Select the cell by clicking on it or with the keyboard arrows.

Step 2 – Write the function

– Inside the selected cell write “=” to let the tool understand you want to insert a function;
– Start writing “VLOOKUP” and the tool will suggest the VLOOKUP function;
– Select the cell with the value you want to search (e.g. the mandatory item that must be present in the grocery inventory). This is the lookup_value;
– Select where you want to search the item (e.g. the grocery inventory). This is the table_array;
– Select the info that you want as a result from the function. This is the col_index_num, so the column number of the table array from where you are searching the value (e.g. in the grocery inventory we have only one column so if you put “1” as index the function will return the item name if the item will be found in the inventory list. If the item is not present, the function will return “#N/A”).
– Write “FALSE” as range_lookup if you want that the function searches exactly the item you are looking for. This is the suggested input for that parameter;
– Close the parenthesis;
– Press enter to confirm the function.