I have a workbook with two sheets in.

To simplify: On the first sheet I have a unique reference number in column A and a product description in column D. This sheet is "the master"

On the second sheet I would like to dynamically enter the unique reference number into Column D and for it then to populate the product description relevant to that unique number (ie the field taken from column D of the first sheet) into column C of the second sheet

  • What did you try so far, and what didn't work for you? Are you after a Macro or a formula?
    – Dave
    Nov 1 '13 at 12:32
  • 1
    The VLOOKUP function is commonly used for this.
    – Brian
    Nov 1 '13 at 12:34

This sounds like you need to use the VLOOKUP function. This function allows you to find a unique reference in a table and return a value from a different column in the corresponding row.

The trick to remember with VLOOKUP is that the value you put in for col_index_num should be the column you want to extract from the table. In your case this would be column D as this contains the description in the table that is defined in sheet 1.

This site has a good tutorial on using VLOOKUP Using VLOOKUP in Excel - HowToGeek.com

Sometimes it is useful to define a variable in Excel that holds the range for the table in sheet1 that you want to get information from, but it is not necessary. It provides more concrete bounds for the table that the VLOOKUP will use, i.e. which parts of the sheet to look in.


If I did understand correct you should use the function "LOOKUP"

In your case Cell [C1] would look like:


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