When working with a large volume of data it can be tiring and time-consuming to go back and forth to look for specific data in a particular cell of a row. In that case, Google Sheets provides the **HLOOKUP function** that saves you time and trouble by looking up specific data from a row for you. In this article, we will try to learn how to use **HLOOKUP **function in Google Sheets easily and effectively.

**Table of Contents**hide

## A Sample of Practice Spreadsheet

Download this spreadsheet to practice yourself.

## What Is HLOOKUP Function in Google Sheets?

**HLOOKUP** also stands for Horizontal lookup. This function searches for data across the first row of a range and returns the value of a specified cell in the column where it finds the data. The **HLOOKUP** function returns values both for approximate and as well as for accurate matches.

The **HLOOKUP** function is quite similar to the **VLOOKUP** function which is used when data is listed in columns instead of rows. The **VLOOKUP** function looks for a value in the leftmost column of the table, on the contrary, the **HLOOKUP** function looks for a value in the first row of the table.

#### Syntax

The syntax of the **HLOOKUP** function is given below:

`HLOOKUP(search_key, range, index, [is_sorted])`

#### Arguments

ARGUMENT | REQUIREMENT | FUNCTION |
---|---|---|

search_key |
Required | The value to look for. |

range |
Required | The range where to look up the value. |

index |
Required | The row number of the value to return. The first row in the range is numbered 1. |

[is_sorted] |
Optional | It is TRUE by default. It indicates whether the row to look for is sorted or not. If is_sorted is TRUE, then the nearest match is returned. If is_sorted is FALSE, only an exact match is returned. |

#### Output

The formula ** =HLOOKUP("001",B4:F6,2,FALSE)** will give the

*Employee Name*

**George**based on the criteria

*Employee ID 001*from the range

**B4:F6**where the row

**C5:F5**contains the

*Employee Names*.

## 3 Examples of Using HLOOKUP Function in Google Sheets

### 1. Using HLOOKUP Function for Horizontal Lookup

To use the **HLOOKUP** function, consider a dataset with Employee ID, Employee Name, and the Sales Amount of each Employee. We will search for the *Sales amount of Employee ID 002* using the **HLOOKUP** function.

**Steps:**

- First, go to the cell where you want to show the looked-up value. We go to cell
**C10**in our example.

- Then, insert the
**HLOOKUP**function.

- After that, type the value you want to look up followed by a
**comma**. We type**D4**as we want to look up Employee ID 1.

- Next, type the range where you want to look up the value followed by a
**comma**. We type**B4:F6**as the data we want to look up is in this range.

- Now, type the row number of the data that you want to show followed by a
**c****omma**. We type**3**as the data is in the**3rd row**of our data table.

- After that, type
**FALSE**if you want to look for an exact match.

- Then, close parentheses for the
**HLOOKUP**function and this is how the final formula looks:

`=HLOOKUP(D4,B4:F6,3,FALSE)`

- Finally, press
**ENTER**to show the value that you looked up.

### 2. Applying MAX Function with HLOOKUP Function

The **MAX** function can be used with the **HLOOKUP** function to look for the Employee who made the most sales. Consider the dataset we used for the previous method.

**Steps:**

- First, go to the cell where you want to show the employee name who made the most sales. We go to cell
**C8**for our example.

- Then, type in the following formula:

`=HLOOKUP(MAX(C5:F5),C5:F6,2,FALSE)`

**Formula Explanation:**

**C5:F5**is the range where the**MAX**function looks for the highest value.**C5:F6**is the range of the**HLOOKUP**function to look up the value.**2**is the row number of the data that the**HLOOKUP**function wants to show.**FALSE**as we want the**HLOOKUP**function to return an exact match for the value.

- Finally, press
**ENTER**to show the employee who made the most sales.

### 3. Selecting TRUE as HLOOKUP Parameter

In the above examples, we used *FALSE* as the last or fourth parameter. Now, we will see how the value changes if we select *TRUE* as the last parameter.

#### 3.1 Using Unsorted Data

Consider the following dataset. We will try to find which employee made a sale of $300 using unsorted data.

**Steps:**

- Go to the cell where you want to show the result and, type the following formula:

`=HLOOKUP(300,C5:F6,2,TRUE)`

**Formula Explanation:**

**300**is the value that**HLOOKUP**is looking for.**C5:F6**is the range where the**HLOOKUP**is looking for the value 300.**2**is the row number if when the**HLOOKUP**finds a match we want the data to return from that row.**TRUE**is used for**HLOOKUP**to find an approximate match. It will show the result even if it does not find an exact match.

- Notice how the
**HLOOKUP**function shows the name Peter as Peter is the employee who made the sales closest to**$****300**.

- However, if we had used
*FALSE*as the fourth parameter instead of*TRUE*, then the following error message would have been shown.

#### 3.2 Using Sorted Data

Consider the following dataset where the data in the first row are sorted. We will try to find who made the sale of **$300** using this dataset. The **Sales Amount** are sorted in ascending order. Notice that we have no employee who made **$300** in sales in our dataset. Let’s see how the **HLOOKUP** behaves.

**Steps:**

- Go to the cell where you want to show the result and, type the following formula:

`=HLOOKUP(300,C4:F6,2,TRUE)`

- The formula returns the name
**Peter**. This happens because the**HLOOKUP**function does not look for an exact match, rather it looks for an approximate match and shows the name**Peter**.

- Alternatively, if we used
*FALSE*as the last parameter instead of*TRUE*then an error message would show because the formula does not find an exact match. This is the formula that we use:

`=HLOOKUP(300,C4:F6,2,FALSE)`

## Limitations of the HLOOKUP Function in Google Sheets

Although the **HLOOKUP** is a very useful function for looking up values in Google Sheets, there are some problems with it. They are:

- When looking up the value, the formula always uses the first row to look for the value. You can not look up a value below the first row.
- The formula is not sufficiently dynamic. It means that if you insert another row between the range, it will not automatically update the index.

## Conclusion

In this article, we showed you how to use the **HLOOKUP **function in Google Sheets with different examples. Keep practicing the examples that we have shown here for a better understanding of the concept. We hope this article was useful to you to help you.

Also, check out other articles on **OfficeWheel** to keep on improving your Google Sheets work knowledge.