**Please Note: **
This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), *this tip may not work for you*. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Pulling a Phone Number with a Known First and Last Name.

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 21, 2020)**This tip applies to** Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365

Kimm has a worksheet that has three columns in it. Column A contains the last name of a person, column B contains the first name, and column C contains the phone number for the individual. If Kimm knows the person's first and last name (say they are in cells F1 and F2, respectively), she wonders what sort of lookup formula she would use to return the phone number for the first person matching that first and last name.

There are actually several different formulas you could use to figure out the phone number. Most of the approaches involve using array formulas, which are always entered in a cell by using **Ctrl+Shift+Enter**. To make the formulas easier to understand, it is best to work with named ranges. For instance, set up the following names:

- Select all the last names, in column A, and give them a name such as LNames.
- Select all the first names, in column B, and give them a name such as FNames.
- Select all the phone numbers, in column C, and give them a name such as Phones.

Here are a variety of array formulas you could use to find the phone number:

=SUMPRODUCT(--(LNames=F2),--(FNames=F1),Phones) =INDEX(Phones,MATCH(F1&F2,FNames&LNames,)) =INDEX(Phones,INDEX(MATCH(F1&F2,FNames&LNames,0),)) =OFFSET(C1,MATCH(F1&F2,FNames&LNames,),)

In addition, you can construct an array formula that relies upon the ROW function, as shown here:

=INDEX(Phones,SUMPRODUCT((F1&F2=FNames&LNames)*(ROW(FNames)-1))) =INDEX(Phones,MIN(IF((FNames=F1)*(LNames=F2),(ROW(Phones)-1))))

If you use this approach (relying upon the ROW function), you may need to adjust the "-1" portion of the formulas to reflect the number of rows that appear before your actual data. In this instance, the row is decremented by one because the first row of the data table consists of the headers for each column; the data itself begins in row 2.

Note that all of the formulas used thus far rely upon combining the first name with the last name in order to make a comparison. This has the chance of running into "false positives" in some instances. For example, let's say that two of the names you have in your data are Thom Astonfield and Thomas Tonfield. Since the case of the letters in the names doesn't matter in these formulas, when you combine first and last names of these individuals, they are exactly the same. Thus, if you are looking for the phone number for Thomas Tonfield and his name appears in the list after Thom Astonfield, then you'll always get Thom's phone number instead of Thomas'.

To get around this potential problem, you may want to include some sort of separator between the first and last name. Using one of the formulas from earlier in the tip, all you would need to do is make an adjustment, as shown here:

=INDEX(Phones,SUMPRODUCT((F1&":"&F2=FNames&":"&LNames)*(ROW(FNames)-1)))

The addition of the colon between the first and last names acts as a separator, eliminating the likelihood of false positives.

You should also realize that if cells F1 and F2 contain a name that doesn't appear in the data at all, the information you get back from the formula will be erroneous. Depending on the variation of the function used, you may get back an actual error condition (such as #N/A or #REF) or you may get back plain wrong data. In those instances where an error condition is returned, you may want to adjust your formula to account for the possibility of not finding a match, in this manner:

=IF(ISERROR(INDEX(Phones,MATCH(F1&":"&F2,FNames&":"&LNames,0))), "no phone",INDEX(Phones,MATCH(F1&":"&F2,FNames&":"&LNames,0)))

There are some things that you should keep in mind when using these types of formulas. First and foremost, the reliability of the information you get back is going to depend largely on the quality of the information in your data list. If your data has misspellings in it, contains blanks, is sorted in some strange order, or there are multiple entries for the same person, it can affect what the formula returns.

If you aren't too sure about the quality of your data, you may want to simply use Excel's filtering capabilities rather than a formula. Apply an AutoFilter, and you can use the first two columns of your data to pick first and last name. This will then return any phone numbers for the individual you select. It is very simple to do and makes selecting the data you need easy.

Finally, you should realize that there are other approaches you can use to addressing the problem. For instance, you could create a formula that uses the DGET function but doing so would require the addition of a small criteria table to your worksheet or workbook. Since Kimm specified that she couldn't add intermediate results in a worksheet, then an editorial decision was made to not include the DGET function as a solution since it would require the addition of the criteria table.

In addition, if you are comfortable with using macros, you could also create a user-defined function that would examine the data and return the requested phone number. The benefit to using such an approach is that it provides you greater flexibility in processing the information that the function actually returns.

*ExcelTips* is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training.
This tip (10479) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: **Pulling a Phone Number with a Known First and Last Name**.

**Excel Smarts for Beginners!** Featuring the friendly and trusted *For Dummies* style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out *Excel 2013 For Dummies* today!

If you need to generate a random sequence of characters, of a fixed length, then you'll appreciate the discussion in this ...

Discover MoreWant to be able to take information that is in one cell and match it to data that is contained in a table within a ...

Discover MoreSometimes making sure that a reference in a formula doesn't get changed is not as simple as putting dollar signs in front ...

Discover More**FREE SERVICE:** Get tips like this every week in *ExcelTips,* a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

2020-12-02 21:46:12

Peter

This formula gives the matching phone number or #NUM! if there is more than one or no matches.

=DGET(A1:C11,"Phone",E1:F2)

The word "Phone" can be substituted with 3 or C1 to represent that column. Each column has to have a heading. In this case the list of names and numbers fills the range A1:C11.

For a non-formulaic approach, you may be use an autofilter over columns A and B. When you will need to enter a name in the Search box if it is not immediately obvious in the list.

2020-12-01 03:04:13

Alex Blakenburg

=LOOKUP(2,1/((FNames=F1)*(LNames=F2)),Phones)

https://www.contextures.com/excelfunctionlookup.html

2020-12-01 00:10:49

Mark

2020-11-21 05:53:13

Alex Blakenburg

=XLOOKUP(1,(FNames=F1)*(LNames=F2),Phones,"Not Found")

=FILTER(Phones,(FNames=F1)*(LNames=F2),"Not Found")

Note: The "Not Found" text is an optional parameter.

Got a version of Excel that uses the
ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)?
**This site is for you!** If you
use an earlier version of Excel, visit
our *ExcelTips* site focusing on the menu interface.

**FREE SERVICE:** Get tips like this every week in *ExcelTips,* a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Copyright © 2024 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

## Comments