Learn how to easily perform a **left lookup** with the XLOOKUP function instead of using the VLOOKUP or INDEX and MATCH functions.

We already know that **XLOOKUP** has opened new horizons in Excel. Today’s guide will be on how to replace the VLOOKUP provides limited functionality in case of left lookup.

## How the left lookup works

In the example, we want to **find the correspondent item** in the **Location** column **if the value in the Sales column is 8932.**

**First, we will create named ranges.** This step will dramatically improve the formula’s readability. Select range B3:B11, locate the name box: type ‘**Location**‘, and press enter. After that, select range D3:D11 and add a name, in this example, ‘**NetSales**.’

Apply the formula that provides a left lookup:

**=XLOOKUP(D6, NetSales, Location)**

In the example, we are using the following arguments:

**lookup_value**: 8392**lookup_array:**D3:D11 (or a named range, NetSales)**return_array**: B3:B11 (or a named range, Location)

**Tip**: the formula mentioned above is equivalent to **=XLOOKUP(D6, D3:D11, B3:B11)**

## Workaround with VLOOKUP (reverse lookup)

The most frustrating limitation of VLOOKUP is that the function lookup values to the right only. We need left lookup, so here is a workaround with VLOOKUP.

**Using the CHOOSE function, we can rearrange the lookup table:**

=CHOOSE({3,2,1}, B2:B11, C2:C211, D2:D11)

=CHOOSE({3,2,1}, Location, Orders, Sales)

The **CHOOSE function** **rearranges the columns** and VLOOKUP using a left lookup.

Inside the formula, CHOOSE swaps columns 1 and 3 and creates an organized table ready for VLOOKUP.

The final formula:

**=VLOOKUP(D6,CHOOSE({3,2,1},B3:B11,C3:C11,D3:D11),3,0)**

Here is the practice file: