Difference Between Hlookup and Vlookup

It stands for horizontal lookup, as the name indicates it lookup for the data horizontally. This tool is used to search the data that are arranged in rows but most of the data are arranged in columns so it is the least used tool.

Vlookup is also a tool used in Excel. It stands for Vertical lookup, as indicated by the name it is lookup vertically for the required information.

Comparison Table Between Hlookup and Vlookup

Parameters of ComparisonHlookupVlookup
Definition Hlookup is a tool used to search data horizontally in a spreadsheet.Vlookup is a tool used to search data vertically in a spreadsheet.
Full FormHlookup stands for Horizontal lookup.Vlookup stands for Vertical lookup.
Data FormatIt is useful when the data is arranged in rows.It is useful when the data is arranged in columns.
SyntaxHLookup (Lookup_Value, Table_Array, Row_Index, {Range_Lookup})VLookup (Lookup_Value, Table_Array, Col_Index, {Range_Lookup})
Usability It is a comparatively less used tool in excel spreadsheets.It is a more frequently used tool in excel spreadsheets.

What is Hlookup?

Hlookup is a useful tool for excel spreadsheets. It stands for Horizontal lookup and is used in finding the information horizontally. It is used to define the function of a particular row of the table.

The data is found using syntax in Hlookup and the syntax used in Hlookup is HLOOKUP( lookup_value, table_array, row_index_num, [range_lookup] ).

In the syntax first, we put the lookup value, it is the data for which we are finding the result. This value should be in the first row of the table as it only searches in the first row of the table. It can be a text or a number.

What is Vlookup?

Vlookup is a tool of an excel spreadsheet used to look for data vertically. As most of the data are arranged in columns hence it is a frequently used tool.

The syntax used for Vlookup tool is VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup]). The lookup_value and table_array functions are similar to the Hlookup tool. And in col_index_num, we put the column number that defines the return value.

In the Vlookup syntax, the first three values are compulsory and the fourth value can be left according to the situation. We can find exact or approximate value but If someone wants to use the Vlookup tool effectively, then one should use range_lookup value to get the exact value.

If the data are arranged in ascending order then it gives effective results and one more important point is the Vlookup function is case insensitive which means it will treat "Bat" and "BAT" as the same data.

Main Differences Between Hlookup and Vlookup

  1. As most of the time data are arranged columns, so HLookup is the less used function in an excel spreadsheet while Vlookup is the most frequently used tool in an excel spreadsheet.
  2. HLookup gives the result in the same column, on the other hand, Vlookup gives the result in the next column but in the same row.


Excel format can be used for many purposes. It is used to arrange data in tabular form. It has hundreds of features to help users in their work. HLookup and Vlookup are two tools in an excel spreadsheet.

Hlookup and Vlookup tools are used to search for the data horizontally and vertically respectively. Hlookup is useful when the data are arranged in rows whereas Vlookup is useful when data arranged in columns.


  1. http://www.egyankosh.ac.in/bitstream/123456789/67025/3/Unit-19.pdf
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/93fd4ff8460fb7907d5137151a7a6fb5/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=48426

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