How to Use VLOOKUP Function for Exact Match in Google Sheets

VLOOKUP is a vertical lookup that we use when we need to find a value row-wise within columns in a table. For example, we can use VLOOKUP to look up a section name and find the corresponding student number.  The VLOOKUP function allows us to find the exact value we are looking for. In this article, we will learn how to use VLOOKUP for exact match in google sheets.

A Sample of Practice Spreadsheet

You may copy the spreadsheet below and practice by yourself.

Introduction to VLOOKUP Function in Google Sheets

The VLOOKUP function looks for a particular value to return corresponding values. For example, if you VLOOKUP a brand name in a dataset, you can find the corresponding product name, ID, price, etc.


The syntax of the VLOOKUP function is:

VLOOKUP(search_key, range, index, [is_sorted])

google sheets vlookup exact match


search_key Required This is the value to look up for. For example, if we consider cell B2 as search_key then VLOOKUP will start from cell B2.
range Required This criterion indicates the range to look up in. If we want to pull data from column C, the range will be column C.
index Required This parameter represents the column number from the range according to search_key. For example, if the range is columns C:F and you need data from column E, then index will be 3. As C=1,D=2, and E=3.
[is_sorted] Optional You must sort the range to the exact match. Here, FALSE or 0 means Exact Match, and TRUE or 1 means Approximate Match.

Return Value

  • Returns the first matching value from the lookup.

Read More: Google Sheets Vlookup Dynamic Range

Step-by-Step Procedure to Use VLOOKUP Function for Exact Match in Google Sheets

If is_sorted is FALSE then the function returns an exact match. Let’s find the steps to VLOOKUP exact match in google sheets step by step. Here is the overview image of this process.

google sheets vlookup exact match

Step 1: Prepare Dataset

  • First, prepare a dataset that contains Class Section and Total Students. Here, we will find the exact value of a particular cell using the VLOOKUP function.

Prepare Dataset in google sheets

Read More: How to Use the VLOOKUP Function in Google Sheets

Step 2: Enter Exact Lookup Value

  • Then, select Cell F5 and insert the VLOOKUP If you enter the “=” sign followed by VLOOKUP, you will see the function listed below the cell. Select it or press Tab to insert the function.

Enter Exact Lookup Value in Google sheets

  • Then select cell B5 as we want to look up the value of that cell.

Read More: How to Check If Value Exists in Range in Google Sheets (4 Ways)

Similar Readings

Step 3: Insert Range and Column Index Number

  • After that select the range B5:C11. Then, press F4 to make it an absolute reference. Put a comma after that.

  • Then, type 2 for the index as we need VLOOKUP to return the Total Students from the second column in the range.

Read More: How to Use VLOOKUP with Named Range in Google Sheets

Step 4: Set Exact Match

  • Next, type 0 or FALSE to look up an Exact Match from the range. The final formula will look as follows.

Read More: How to VLOOKUP for Partial Match in Google Sheets

Step 5: Final Output

  • Lastly, press the Enter button and execute the formula as below.

How to VLOOKUP from Another Sheet with Exact Match in Google Sheets

Suppose you need to implement the VLOOKUP function from another sheet with the same dataset. Here, we use VLOOKUP to return values from the Dataset sheet. Now follow the steps below to execute this method.

google sheets vlookup exact match


  • First, select cell F5 and type =VLOOKUP( to insert the function. Then select cell F4 as the lookup value as before.

  • Next, select the range Dataset!B5:C11 from the Dataset sheet as below.

  • After that, type 2 for the index, put a comma, and then type False to get the exact match.
  • Lastly, the output is as below.

google sheets vlookup exact match

Read More: How to VLOOKUP from Another Sheet in Google Sheets (2 Ways)

Things to Remember

  • Always remember to select the correct data range as VLOOKUP does not allow you to have any blank data while selecting the range.
  • Always lock the lookup range to avoid data missing or data mismatch.


In this article, we explained the anatomy of the VLOOKUP function. We also explained how to VLOOKUPexact match in Google Sheets. Hopefully, the methods will help you to apply this method to your own dataset. Please let us know in the comment section if you have any further queries or suggestions. You may also visit our OfficeWheel blog to explore more Google Sheets-related articles.

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This is Afrina Nafisa. Currently working as a Technical Writer at OFFICEWHEEL.COM. I have done my graduation from Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology. As I am eager to learn more and more currently my motive is to make myself better every day with my work so that I can make better content for all the readers.

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