VLOOKUP is a simple way to retrieve data from a table in Excel, but you must understand its limits. VLOOKUP works by looking down the left column of the table’s range until it finds a match for the lookup_value, then it looks across that row to the cell in the column you specify.
VLOOKUP uses this syntax,
lookup_value is the value you are looking for in the left-most column of the table.
table_array is the array containing the data. The leftmost column is the column that will be searched.
col_index_num is the number of the column you want to retrieve data from.
[range_lookup] is TRUE if you want to find a near match to the lookup_value or FALSE if you want to find an exact match. In most cases you will use FALSE.
In cell D7 the formula is
VLOOKUP looks at the leftmost column, $C$12:$C$18, of the range $C$12:$F$18 for a match to Hawking, which is specified in $D$4. VLOOKUP looks for an exact match to Hawking since the [range_lookup] parameter is FALSE. It then looks to the right in the row containing Hawking to the fourth (4) column.
A VLOOKUP like this is simple to enter and works great for tables where the lookup_value is in the left column and the columns stay in the same numeric order. When you need more flexibility, checkout the INDEX MATCH combinations.