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Lookup tables can be used to hold various types of fixed information that can be
“looked up” from another part of the worksheet, e.g. rates of pay, credit ratings,
addresses etc.

If you want to practice using a spreadsheet you can do so by completing the

following activities. If you would prefer to use the skills on your own spreadsheets
read the instructions and apply them to your work.

You can use the worksheet Discount to practice these skills. A copy can be found
by clicking on the link, Discount. Before using it save it to your user area, computer
or external storage device.

Columns D to F contain a table to look up customer discounts.

The discount is based on the order value from £0 to £10,000 and the type of
order (cash or credit).
As the discount rates in the table do not follow any obvious numerical
sequence, using a formula to generate them would be difficult.

You can use two lookup functions to get data from a table:

HLOOKUP (Horizontal lookup) is used when the values are arranged

horizontally in a row and you ask Excel to look across the row to find the right
VLOOKUP (Vertical lookup) is used when the values are arranged in a
column and you are asking Excel to look down the column to find the right

Your formula would look like this: =HLOOKUP(x, range, index) or =VLOOKUP(x,
range, index).

x is the value that you want to look up. It can be entered as text, a number or a cell

Range is the range of cells in which Excel will look to find the value.

Index tells Excel which column or row to look in.

That sounds very complicated. Try the activity and it should all become much

Using LookUp

You are going to spend £600 in cash and you are going to try to get a discount on
what you buy.

1. Enter 600 in cell C4, which is the “Amount of Purchase” (the amount you are
spending) and press the Enter key on your keyboard.

2. Now you want to find out how much discount you are going to get for paying for
your £600 purchase in cash.
3. In cell C5 enter the formula: =VLOOKUP(C4,D7:F10,2) and press the Enter key
on your keyboard. (Ignore all of the other information that pops up on the screen
- it is confusing).

Explanation of the formula

V When you look up the value you want to look across a row, not down a
column, so you use V for vertical.

Lookup C4 Look up the value in cell C4, (the amount you are spending).

D7:F11 Look for it in the table that is in cell range D7 to D10

2 When you have found the nearest figure to 600 in column 1, look in
column 2 of the table (the one headed Cash) to find out how much
discount the person will be entitled to.

The lookup function searches the first column and compares the values in
Column D with the value in cell C4 until it reaches a number equal to or
higher than 600, in this case it is 1,000.
Then it stops looking.
It goes back a row to find the nearest amount below the amount it is looking
for which is £500.* (see note below).
Then it decides which is the closest to the amount it is looking for. In this
case it found that 600 was closer to 500 than 1,000.
It then goes to the second column as it was told to do and looks up the
discount that would be received for spending £500 in cash and has come up
with the answer of 0.8.

4. Format the 0.8 as a percentage by clicking the right mouse button on the cell
containing 0.8, select the Format Cells option from the drop-down menu.

5. In the Format Cells dialogue-box select Percentage from the category list and
set it to zero decimal places.

You now know that if you spend £600 in cash you will get a discount of 8%.

*For this reason the values in a lookup table must be in ascending order. If they are
not, when Excel is looking up the values it will stop looking when it comes to the first
value that is more than the value it is looking for and then look to see if the value
before it is closer. It will then use one of those two values. There may be a value
further down the column that is closer to the one it is looking for but it will not find it
because it will have stopped looking.

You can now use the formula to calculate the amount you have spent (i.e. the
purchase value minus the discount).

1. Click in cell B6.

2. Enter the formula: =C4-(C4*C5).

3. Press the Enter key on your keyboard.

An explanation of what you are asking Excel to do

Take the contents of C4 which is the cost of your purchase.

Then take away the amount of the discount which is:

o 8% of the purchase price, i.e. by multiplying the purchase amount (the

contents of C4) by the discount of 8% (the contents of C5) to find the
amount of the discount.
o Then taking that away from the original purchase price, (the contents of

Thus you have asked Excel to find out what the 8% discount amounts to in
money terms and take that away from the original amount.

Your answer should be 552. Thus you are saving £48 with your discount.

Independent activity

Use the same spreadsheet to find out what the percentage discount and the final
amount is after the discount has been deducted if you spend £600 on credit. You
can look at the answer overleaf to check it once you have finished.

If you have the money available to do either of these, which would be the most
sensible? How much do you save with the discount if you use credit?


Creating a worksheet in Excel 2007

Formatting a worksheet in Excel 2007
Inserting and deleting columns and rows in Excel 2007
Formatting with borders and colour in Excel 2007
Adding headers and footers in Excel 2007
Printing worksheets and formulae in Excel 2007
Linking worksheets and copying formulae in Excel 2007
Average, percentage, maximum and minimum in Excel 2007
Creating charts in Excel 2007
Chart types in Excel 2007
Formatting charts in Excel 2007
Filtering data in Excel 2007
Searching for data in Excel 2007
Using IF in formulae in Excel 2007
Absolute cell references in Excel 2007

Discount 5%, amount after discount £570.

If you did not get that amount check that your formula was correct. Remember that the cell
references will be different as you will put your credit purchase amount in cell C8, and that the
discounts for credit are in the third column on the table, not the second.