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#1 Tom Frank

Tom Frank


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Posted 28 April 2016 - 11:12 AM

I have two excel sheets. Both contain account numbers which are displayed as text.  I am trying to use VLOOKUP function to return the model # for each account.  I encounter an error which says the lookup string contains a constant?


I have tried reformatting account numbers to actual numbers with no improvement, searched MS.com but no help?


#2 Jonathan


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Posted 28 April 2016 - 07:07 PM

Hi Tom,


This error message can appear under several different circumstances, but it's most likely that there is a problem with the formula itself. The first thing I would suggest is to carefully check that you're referring to the correct cells for each of the VLOOKUP function's arguments.


You can see how to set up a VLOOKUP formula correctly in the video tutorial: Expert Skills Lesson 3-22 Use a VLOOKUP function for an exact lookup.


If you're trying to perform an inexact lookup, you should also make sure that the lookup values are sorted in ascending order. It's also possible that you've accidentally selected an inexact lookup when you actually need an exact lookup, so this is worth checking too.


You can see a full explanation of the difference between exact and inexact lookups in the video lesson: Expert Skills Lesson 3-24 Use a VLOOKUP function for an inexact lookup.


I hope this helps and you're able to fix the problem, but please feel free to reply if you're still having trouble. If you'd like to attach a copy of your workbook I can also take a look and find the problem for you. You can find instructions on how to attach workbooks here.

Jonathan is part of the professional team who answer Excel-related questions posted on the ExcelCentral.com forums.
Jonathan also tests our courses prior to publication and has worked on all of our ten world bestselling Excel books for Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016 for Windows and Excel 2016 for Apple Mac. Jonathan has also worked on over 850 video lessons for or video courses covering Excel 2007, Excel 2010 and Excel 2013.
As well as extensive Excel knowledge, Jonathan has worked in the IT world for over thirteen years as a programmer, database designer and analyst for some of the world's largest companies.

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