MATCH Function Overview
The MATCH Function Syntax and Arguments
The syntax for the MATCH function is:
= MATCH ( Lookup_value, Lookup_array, Match_type )
Lookup_array - (required) The range of cells being searched.
Match_type -(optional) Tells Excel how to match the Lookup_value with values in the Lookup_array. Choices: -1, 0, or 1. The default value for this argument is 1.
- if the Match_type = 1 or is omitted: MATCH finds the largest value that is less than or equal to the Lookup_value. The Lookup_array data must be sorted in ascending order.
- if the match_type = 0: MATCH finds the first value that is exactly equal to the Lookup_value. The Lookup_array data can be sorted in any order.
- if the Match_type = -1: MATCH finds the smallest value that is greater than or equal to the Lookup_value. The Lookup_array data must be sorted in descending order.
Example Using Excel's MATCH Function to Find Data
As can be seen in the image above, this example will use the MATCH function to find the position of the term Widgets in an inventory list.
- Enter the following data into cells D1 to F8.
- Click on cell D3 in the worksheet and type the word Widgets as this is the term we are looking to match in the Inventory List
- Click on cell E3 - this is where the results of the function will be displayed
- Click on the Formulas tab of the ribbon menu
- Choose Lookup and Reference from the ribbon to open the function drop down list
- Click on MATCH in the list to bring up the function's dialog box.
- In the dialog box, click on the Lookup_value line.
- Click on cell D3 in the spreadsheet to enter the cell reference into the dialog box.
- Click on the Lookup_array line in the dialog box.
- Highlight cells F3 to F8 in the worksheet to enter the range into the dialog box
- Click on the Match_type line in the dialog box
- Enter the number " 0 " (no quotes) on this line to find an exact match to the data in cell D3
- Click OK to complete the function and close the dialog box
- The number " 3 " appears in cell D3 since the term Widgets is the third item from the top in the inventory list
- When you click on cell D3 the complete function =MATCH (D3, F3:F8, 0) appears in the formula bar above the worksheet
Cell Data D1 - Parts Inventory D2 - Item E2 - Location F2 - List F3 - Cogs F4 - Bearings F5 - Widgets F6 - Loose Screws F7 - Washers F8 - Bolts