How to use the INDEX function to find data in a table in Excel

SUMMARY

This article describes how to use the INDEX function to find data in a table at the intersection of a specific row and column in Microsoft Excel.

There are two forms of the INDEX function, Array and Reference. The primary differences between the two forms are as follows:

The Array form can return more than one value at a time. The Reference form returns the reference of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column.
The Array form is entered using CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER, instead of just ENTER, as with Reference.

MORE INFORMATION

Enter the following data into a blank Excel worksheet. You will use this data for the sample formula in this article.

  A B C
1 Name Dept Age
2 Henry 501 28
3 Stan 201 19
4 Mary 101 22
5 Larry 301 29
6      
7 Harry 401 21
8 Joe 101 23
9 Lynn 301 30

Reference Form of INDEX

1. Enter the following formula into cell E2 (or any available blank cell):=INDEX((A2:C5,A7:C9),2,3,2)

(A2:C5,A7:C9) are the ranges where the value that you want will be found.

2 is the row number in the range where the value is.

3 is the column number in the ranges where the value is. Because there are three columns (beginning with column A), the third column is column C.

2 is the area, A2:C5 or A7:C9, where the value is. Because there are two areas specified for the range, the second range is A7:C9.

2. Press ENTER.

In the sample formula, the INDEX function returns a value at the intersection of the second row (2) and third column (C) of the range A7:C9. The value in cell C8 is 23. Therefore, the formula =INDEX((A2:C5,A7:C9),2,3,2) will return the value 23.

Array Form of INDEX

1. Enter the following formula into cell E3 (or any available blank cell):=INDEX(A2:C5,2,3)

A2:C5 is the range where the value that you want will be found.

2 is the row number in the range where the value is.

3 is the column number in the range where the value is. Because there are three columns (beginning with column A), the third column is column C.

2. Press CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER to enter the formula as an array formula.

In the sample formula, the INDEX function returns a value at the intersection of the second row (2) and third column (C). The value in cell C2 is 19. Therefore, the formula =INDEX(A2:C5,2,3) will return the value 19.

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Microsoft Knowledge Base Article

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