The ULTIMATE Index Match Tutorial (5 Real-World Examples)
Jul 24, 2023 9:30 AM

The ULTIMATE Index Match Tutorial (5 Real-World Examples)

by HubSite 365 about Kevin Stratvert

Content Creator & former Microsoft Product Manager

Pro UserExcelLearning Selection

Learn the Index Match function in Excel to look for any value in a dataset

The ULTIMATE Index Match Tutorial offers a deep dive into the Index Match function in Excel, complete with real-world examples and a free downloadable Excel file. Within the tutorial, five crucial areas are discussed:

  • Starting with a simple index match with one criteria
  • An index match with two criteria, requiring two match functions for the row and column
  • A dynamic index match using relative referencing for function application across multiple ranges
  • An advanced index match example with three criteria, synthesizing the index match with the ampersand
  • The main limitations of the index match, proposing alternative solutions using SUM and FILTER combinations.

Index Match Tutorial


INDEX and MATCH are powerful functions in Excel that allow you to look up data in tables using criteria. Independently, these functions have their utilities, but when combined, they create an exceptionally potent lookup tool, rivaling (and in many ways surpassing) the more commonly known VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP functions.

The INDEX Function

The INDEX function returns the value of a cell located in a given range, based on a specified row and column number.

Syntax: INDEX(array, row_num, [column_num])

The MATCH Function

The MATCH function searches for a specified item in a range of cells and returns the relative position of that item in the range.

Syntax: MATCH(lookup_value, lookup_array, [match_type])

Combining INDEX and MATCH

When combined, INDEX and MATCH functions perform a flexible and powerful lookup of data. This combination allows you to look up a value in a table based on a row and column value - similar to VLOOKUP, but with more flexibility and without the limitations.

Syntax: INDEX(range, MATCH(lookup_value, lookup_range, match_type))


  1. Lookup to the Left: Unlike VLOOKUP, which can only lookup to the right, INDEX and MATCH can lookup values to the left.

  2. Insert/Delete Columns: VLOOKUP uses column index numbers which can break if you add, remove, or rearrange columns. INDEX and MATCH don't have this problem.

  3. Efficiency: For large datasets, INDEX and MATCH are faster and more efficient than VLOOKUP.

  4. More Flexible Reference: INDEX and MATCH allow you to build more flexible and dynamic references.


The INDEX and MATCH combination is a powerful tool that should be in the toolbox of anyone using Excel regularly. It surpasses VLOOKUP in many ways and provides a flexible and robust solution for looking up data in Excel.

Deep Dive into Index Match Function

Excel's Index Match function is a powerful tool for retrieving specific data points from a dataset. This tutorial offers comprehensive guidance, running through a range of real-world scenarios. From simple to dynamic and advanced index match use, there's something for everyone. Notably, it also provides a solution for the main limitation of index match. Understanding how to combine index match with other functions opens up new possibilities for data manipulation and analysis.

Learn about The ULTIMATE Index Match Tutorial (5 Real-World Examples)

The Index Match function in Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to look for any value in a dataset. In this video tutorial, you'll learn to use the Index Match function in five real-world scenarios, including simple index match with one criteria, index match with two criteria, dynamic index match with relative referencing, advanced index match with three criteria, and an alternate solution using SUM and FILTER combinations. You'll also learn about the main limitation of the Index Match function and how to work around it. By the end of this tutorial, you'll have the knowledge and skills to use the Index Match function to quickly and accurately find any value in a dataset.

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Index Match Function, Look for Values in Dataset, Excel Index Match, Index Match with Two Criteria, Dynamic Index Match, Advanced Index Match, SUM and FILTER Combinations.