If you work with VLOOKUP, there is a good chance you may have run into the #VALUE! error several times. This topic lists the most common problems that may occur with VLOOKUP, and the possible solutions.

## Problem: The *lookup_value* argument is more than 255 characters.

**Solution**: Shorten the value, or use a combination of INDEX and MATCH functions as a workaround.

**Note:** This is an array formula and needs to be entered with CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER. Excel will automatically wrap the formula in braces {}. If you try to enter them yourself Excel will display the formula as text.

## Problem: The *col_index_num* argument contains text or is less than 0.

The Column Index is the number of columns to the right of the search column that you want to return if a match is found.

This may be due to a typo in the *col_index_num* argument, or accidentally specifying a number less than 1 as the index value (a common occurrence if another Excel function nested in the VLOOKUP function returns a number such as "0" as the *col_index_num* argument).

The minimum value for the *col_index_num* argument is 1, where 1 is the search column, 2 is the first column to the right of the search column and so on. So if you’re searching in column A, then 1 references that, 2 is column B, 3 is column C, and so on.

## Do you have a specific function question?

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