# How To Apply A Formula To A Column In Excel VLOOKUP Number – 3 Golden Rules You Can Implement Right Away to Avoid NA Errors

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## VLOOKUP Number – 3 Golden Rules You Can Implement Right Away to Avoid NA Errors

If you don’t know these three important rules, chances are you’ll run into trouble doing a VLOOKUP number in Excel…

1. The VLOOKUP function will show you #N/A if the lookup number does not have the same number of numbers as the left index column of the table array.
2. VLOOKUP in Excel returns a #N/A error when a number is stored as text in the left index column.
3. Excel’s VLOOKUP function will show you a #N/A message if the number has quotation marks, just like it does for texts.

Golden Rule #1 is very important to VLOOKUP a number effectively in Excel!

Stop the headaches of figuring out why Excel crashes. For example, the formula: =VLOOKUP(13270.00,\$A\$2:\$C\$6,3,0)… returns #N/A.

You are usually aware that the search number 13270.00 is in the left index column.

The fact is that the error message means that there is no number. You usually insist, yes, the number is there because I can see it. Big mistake!

The left column of the backend shows the number 13270.003 as 13270.00. What you see is not what you get, so with Excel, all numbers are counted against the numbers.

VLOOKUP Number Golden Rule #2 – Never store numbers as text in an index column…

Why does Excel save a number as text?

Here are some common reasons: a number with a leading apostrophe, a number with an incorrect decimal separator, longer numbers after import may also be converted to text.

I’ll give you an example…

This VLOOKUP: =VLOOKUP(5250,\$A\$2:\$C\$6,3,0)… throws error #N/A

This is because the number 5250 is stored as text in the left index column. You can be aware of this when you see a green symbol in the upper left corner of the cell. Another good tip for recognizing numbers stored as texts is that texts are automatically left-aligned.

So the mysteriously left-aligned number is probably text. A handy tactic here is to convert numbers stored as text in masses to numbers.

1. Select an empty cell
2. Copy (basically zero on the clipboard)
3. Highlight cells with numbers that are stored as text
4. Paste Special (CTRL+ALT+V)>Insert
5. Press the OK button

VLOOKUP Number Golden Rule #3 – Never Enclose a Lookup Number with Quotes…

For example, the formula =VLOOKUP(“52503,\$A\$2:\$C\$6,3,0)… returns the message #N/A. I’m assuming here that you have numbers in the left index column (5250 for this I’m referring to this because the formula =VLOOKUP(“52503,\$A\$2:\$C\$6,3,0) does not return #N/A if the left column contains the number 5250 stored as text.

The fact that these small problems force you to debug and question the results of the functions means that after applying these rules, you will increase your productivity…

You speed up the VLOOKUP formula writing step and increase confidence in the results. This, as I said, will increase your overall productivity, and I also wish it would advance your career faster and your overall value at work and in your profession. Always enjoy working with your data and let me know how you get on. I’m here to help and always will in any way I can.

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