# Vlookup left

## You want to return a value to the left of your lookup column?

Last time, we discussed the differences between vlookup and index/match, I mentioned using `Index(Match)` to return a value to the left. Unfortunately, `Vlookup` cannot be used to return a value to the left (or above) your lookup value.

### Vlookup

Since `Vlookup` returns a value based on a table, it must assume that the index of the table is on the left. It is possible to use Vlookup to the left, but it’s much easier to remember how to use `Index(Match)` instead.

### Index↗ / Match ↗

When I first discussed using Index(Match), I noted that we can use `Index` for the row number and `Match` for the column number. Let’s use the same data from that discussion – If you want to know what Price you sell a Fruit for, you can find the Fruit and return the Price. What are Lemons selling for?

``````=INDEX(\$C\$2:\$C\$7,MATCH("Lemons",\$A\$2:\$A\$7,0)) = \$3.00
``````

In other words, find lemons in Column A and return the value from Column C.

### Index / Match to the left

But what if you want to know what is selling for \$2.50? Simply find 2.50 in Column C and return the value from Column A

`````` =INDEX(\$A\$2:\$A\$7,MATCH(2.50,\$C\$2:\$C\$7,0)) = Coconuts
``````

``````=INDEX(\$A\$2:\$A\$7,MATCH(2.25,\$C\$2:\$C\$7,1)) = Cherries
``````

Using the argument `1` for [match_type] allows us to return the item that is closest to our lookup_value without going over. If you want to know what item is the smallest value that is greater than or equal to lookup_value you can use the `-1` [match_type].

### Index / Match above

With the horizontal table, to find what sells for \$2.50, swap the ranges –

``````=INDEX(\$H\$1:\$M\$1,MATCH(2.50,\$H\$3:\$M\$3,0)) = Coconuts
``````

This can be used to look something up above, or upward.

### Conclusion

As I’ve stated before, “inevitably, =Index(Match) is always the best option.”. As demonstrated above, there really is no limit on what it can do!