# Strange Vlookup Behavior

#### bencar

##### Banned user
Hi guys,

This vlookup problem has me scratching my head. For the following table I use the vlookup formula below to lookup up book title, author and price in different cells at the same time. It includes a COLUMNS function to paste it across cells to return book title, author and price. Whats so strange about it is, I can enter COLUMNS(\$Z:Z) instead of COLUMNS(\$A:A) and I still get the right answers. Why does it do this if column Z isn't in the lookup table but works as good as column A which is?

=VLOOKUP(\$B13,\$A\$2:\$E\$11,COLUMNS(\$A:A)+1,0)

ABCDE
1NumberBook TitleAuthorPriceType
21A Game of ThronesGeorge R.R.\$19.77hardcover
43A Dance with DragonsGeorge R.R.\$18.81paperback
54The Hunger GamesSuzanne Collins\$4.94paperback
65The Original ArgumentGlenn Beck\$7.99hardcover
76Heaven is for RealTodd Burpo\$9.34paperback
87UnbrokenLaura Hillenbrand\$13.99hardcover
98Smokin' SeventeenJanet Evanovich\$15.21paperback
109In the Garden of BeastsErik Larson\$13.78paperback
1110Catching FireSuzanne Collins\$8.97hardcover

<tbody>
</tbody>
Sheet4

Last edited:

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#### Peter_SSs

##### MrExcel MVP, Moderator
I can enter COLUMNS(\$Z:Z) instead of COLUMNS(\$A:A) and I still get the right answers. Why does it do this ..
=VLOOKUP(\$B13,\$A\$2:\$E\$11,COLUMNS(\$A:A)+1,0)
Because COLUMNS(\$A:A) returns 1 and COLUMNS(\$Z:Z) also returns 1
If you drag it across one column..
COLUMNS(\$A:B) returns 2 and COLUMNS(\$Z:AA) returns 2

#### bencar

##### Banned user
Because COLUMNS(\$A:A) returns 1 and COLUMNS(\$Z:Z) also returns 1
If you drag it across one column..
COLUMNS(\$A:B) returns 2 and COLUMNS(\$Z:AA) returns 2
Makes sense now.. thanks!

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