# How to Retrieve a Price from a List that Matches both Category and Item Criteria in Excel

In this article, we will learn How to Retrieve a Price from a List that Matches both Category and Item Criteria in Excel.

Scenario:

It's easy to find a value with one criteria in a table, for that We could simply use VLOOKUP. But when you don’t have a single column criteria in your data and need to find through multiple columns criteria to match a value, VLOOKUP doesn’t help.

Generic Formula for both category and Item

 =INDEX(lookup_range,MATCH(1,INDEX((item1=item_range) * (category2=category_range),0,1),0))

lookup_range: It's the range from which you want to retrieve value.

Criteria1, Criteria2, Criteria N: These are the criteria you want to match in range1, range2 and Range N. You can have upto 270 criteria - range pairs.

Range1, range2, rangeN : These are the ranges in which you will match your respective criteria

Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example. Here we have a data table. I want to pull the Name of the customer using Date of Booking, Builder and Area. So here I have three criteria and one lookup range.

Write this formula in cell I4 hit enter.

 =INDEX(E2:E16,MATCH(1,INDEX((I1=A2:A16)*(I2=B2:B16)*(I3=C2:C16),0,1),0))

We already know how INDEX and MATCH function work in EXCEL, so not going to explain that here. We will talk about the trick we used here.

(I1=A2:A16)*(I2=B2:B16)*(I3=C2:C16): The main part is this. Each part of this statement returns an array of true false.

When boolean values are multiplied they return an array of 0 and 1. Multiplication works as an AND operator. Hense when all value are true only then it returns 1 else 0

(I1=A2:A16)*(I2=B2:B16)*(I3=C2:C16) This altogether will return

Which will translate into

 {0;0;0;0;0;0;0;1;0;0;0;0;0;0;0}

INDEX((I1=A2:A16)*(I2=B2:B16)*(I3=C2:C16),0,1): INDEX Function will return the same array ({0;0;0;0;0;0;0;1;0;0;0;0;0;0;0}) to MATCH function as lookup array.

MATCH(1,INDEX((I1=A2:A16)*(I2=B2:B16)*(I3=C2:C16),0,1): MATCH function will look for 1 in array  {0;0;0;0;0;0;0;1;0;0;0;0;0;0;0}. And will return the index number of the first 1 found in the array. Which is 8 here.

INDEX(E2:E16,MATCH(1,INDEX((I1=A2:A16)*(I2=B2:B16)*(I3=C2:C16),0,1),0)): Finally, INDEX will return the value from the given range (E2:E16) at found index (8).

# Array formula

If you can hit CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER consequently then you can eliminate the inner INDEX function. Just write this formula and hit CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER.

Formula

 =INDEX(E2:E16,MATCH(1,(I1=A2:A16)*(I2=B2:B16)*(I3=C2:C16),0))

Generic Array Formula for Multiple Criteria Lookup

 =INDEX(lookup_range,MATCH(1,(criteria1 =range1)*(criteria2=range2)*(criteriaN=rangeN),0))

Here are all the observational notes using the formula in Excel
Notes :

1. Use Vlookup if you have one criteria to match, it's common practice.
2. You can add more rows and columns in the lookup array.
3. Text arguments must be given within quotes ("").
4. The VLOOKUP table must have the lookup_array in the leftmost or the first column.
5. The col index cannot be 1 as it is the lookup array
6. 0 argument is used for the exact match value. Use 1 for the approximate match value.
7. The function returns #N/A error, if look up value is not found in the lookup array. So catch the error, if necessary.

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