## 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
```

What about the *most expensive* item you can buy with $2.25?

```
=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!