Contract: Lookup/Fill in

Microsoft Excel 2003 (full product)
February 2, 2010 at 12:23:45
Specs: Windows XP Home SP3, IntelCore2@3ghz/4gb
This is probably very easy for an Excel wiz...I have to fill out union contracts - similar to a worksheet - and have an Excel database of information. All i want to do is typ in a SocSec #, have it find the match, and then copy and paste the range of cells associated with that SocSec# into my contract.
Any help would be eternally appreciated

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February 2, 2010 at 13:02:02
I'm assuming that the "contract" is actually an Excel spreadsheet and not a Word document or something else. If it's not an Excel spreadsheet, we'll need some more info.

Based on that assumption...

If your data is set up (or can be set up) such that the SS# is in the first column of your data table, then VLOOKUP is most likely the answer.

Even if the SS# is not in the first column, you could add a column in front of the table that displays the SS# and then use VLOOKUP. (You can even hide the "extra" column so it's not distracting you.)

There are methods for looking up data from columns other than the first, but they are bit more complicated.

Read the Excel Help files on VLOOKUP and if you still have questions, come on back with some more specifics and we'll see if we can help.

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February 2, 2010 at 13:10:18
Thanks for the reply. yes, the contract is an excel spreadsheet, formatted to duplicate the contract. and yes, i can arrange the first cell to be the SS#.
if i do that, then what?

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February 2, 2010 at 13:26:29
Then you do what I suggested earlier:

Read the Excel Help files on VLOOKUP and if you still have questions, come on back with some more specifics and we'll see if we can help.

VLOOKUP is used to look for data in the first column of a "table" and return values in the same row as the value found from whatever column you tell the VLOOKUP function to pull from.

You could use VLOOKUP in multiple cells throughout the contract and pull the Name into one cell, the Address into another, the Pay Rate into another, just by using the correct column argument in the VLOOKUP function.

Seriously, search on VLOOKUP in the Help files and see if you think it will do what you need. Then come on back with some specific questions if you need help making the function work for you.

We're here to help, but we need to know a little bit about what you are trying to do before we can offer detailed advice.

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February 2, 2010 at 13:33:15
i think this will be the answer, but not being an excel wizard, help would be appreciated.
if it would be easier, i could email an example of a contract, with the database, and you could see the layout and necc. info.

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February 2, 2010 at 14:05:22
I'd prefer that you try it on your own first. We all learn better by doing than by having someone do it for us. That's how most of us who answer questions in this forum learned what we know.

Here's an example of how VLOOKUP works...

Let's say this is my "database"...

     A	     B	    C
1    SS#    Name    Team
2   3425    Tom     Blue
3   1243    Bill    Red
4   5454    Fred    Yellow
5   1090    Sue     Green

Here is the syntax of VLOOKUP, directly from the Help files:

VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, range_lookup)

- The lookup_value would be any value that you want to find in the first column of the database
- The lookup_array is the database (A1:C5)
- The col_index_num is the data you want to pull from the database, e.g. Name or Team
- The range_lookup tells Excel if you want to find an exact match of the lookup_value or not. You need to review the Help files to see how this argument is used.

So, if you used this formula:

=VLOOKUP(1243, $A$1:$C$5, 2, 0)

You would see Bill in the cell since VLOOKUP will look for 1243 in the first column of the lookup_array which it will find in Row 3.

It will then return the value from Column 2 of the lookup_array since we used 2 as the col_index_num.

=VLOOKUP(1090, $A$1:$C$5, 3, 0)

would return Green.

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