# Vlookup does not return correct value

#### Arjan

##### New Member
I have a Vlookup challenge which I can´t seem to solve myself. Does anybody have a solution?

Matrix defined by AB3:AC26
Format of the column AB is TEXT, of AC is GENERAL

Cell F17 contains a Data Validation Drop-Down with source data the matrix AB2:AB26 (including a blank cell AB2).

I have a problem with the formula "=VLOOKUP(F17;\$AB\$3:\$AC\$26;2;0)". The result for the below F17 content is incorrect:
A - B * C in drop-down cell F17 gives 14 should be 15
A * B * C in drop-down cell F17 gives 14 should be 18
A * B / C in drop-down cell F17 gives 16 should be 19
A * B in drop-down cell F17 gives 21 should be 23

Row nrs. Column AB Column AC

<TABLE style="WIDTH: 164pt; BORDER-COLLAPSE: collapse" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=219 border=0 x:str><COLGROUP><COL style="WIDTH: 68pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 3328" width=91><COL style="WIDTH: 68pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 3328" width=91><COL style="WIDTH: 28pt; mso-width-source: userset; mso-width-alt: 1353" width=37><TBODY><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; WIDTH: 68pt; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" width=91 height=17 x:num>3</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; WIDTH: 68pt; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" width=91>A * B * C * D</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; WIDTH: 28pt; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right width=37 x:num>1</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>4</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A * B * C / D</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>2</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>5</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A + B + C + D</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>3</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>6</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A + B + C / D</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>4</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>7</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">(A - B) * C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>5</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>8</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">(A - B) / C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>6</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>9</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">(A * B) - C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>7</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>10</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">(A * B) + C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>8</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>11</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">(A / B) - C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>9</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>12</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">(A / B) / C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>10</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>13</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">(A / B) + C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>11</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>14</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">(A + B) * C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>12</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>15</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">(A + B) / C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>13</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>16</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A - B - C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>14</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>17</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A - B * C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>15</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>18</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A - B / C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>16</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>19</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A - B + C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>17</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>20</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A * B * C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>18</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>21</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A * B / C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>19</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>22</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A + B + C</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>20</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>23</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A + B</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>21</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>24</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A - B</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>22</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>25</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A * B</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>23</TD></TR><TR style="HEIGHT: 12.75pt" height=17><TD class=xl25 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; HEIGHT: 12.75pt; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" height=17 x:num>26</TD><TD class=xl24 style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent">A / B</TD><TD style="BORDER-RIGHT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-TOP: #f0f0f0; BORDER-LEFT: #f0f0f0; BORDER-BOTTOM: #f0f0f0; BACKGROUND-COLOR: transparent" align=right x:num>24</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

Regards,

Arjan.

Last edited:

### Excel Facts

Return population for a City
If you have a list of cities in A2:A100, use Data, Geography. Then =A2.Population and copy down.

#### Weaver

##### Well-known Member
I think it's seeing your "*" as a wildcard and finding the first approximate match

#### Arjan

##### New Member
Thanks for the VERY quick reply............just seconds after I posted the Thread!

Do you have any idea how I could solve this?

The reason for what I am doing: I am trying to build a calculator where users can define formula´s using words. I could not find a way to provide 100% flexibility so I have specified certain fixed formula formats where A, B, C, D represent the words which would be use instead.

Thanks,

Arjan.

#### Gerald Higgins

##### Well-known Member
Arjan - welcome to the board.

I think this seems to be because it treats the * as a wildcard character.
If you intend * to mean "multiplied by", try replacing it with x or some other character, which then returns the correct result.

#### Gerald Higgins

##### Well-known Member
Wow, sorry for being so slow !!!

#### Weaver

##### Well-known Member
You could try using an x for multiplication, maybe?

#### Arjan

##### New Member
Gerald,

Thanks for your almost QUICKEST reply. 2 minutes is still VERY VERY good.

I wil try to replace the * by an X and see what happens.

Arjan.

#### barry houdini

##### MrExcel MVP
You could leave the *s but use this formula

=VLOOKUP(SUBSTITUTE(F17;"*";"~*");\$AB\$3:\$AC\$26;2;0)

#### ZVI

##### MrExcel MVP
Or use alternative formula:
=SUMPRODUCT(--(AB3:AB26=F17),AC3:AC26)

#### Arjan

##### New Member
excel R8R, Gerald, Barry,

Replacing the * by the x works PERFECTLY. I am impressed.

I will try Barry´s proposal and get back to you.

Arjan.