In this instance it doesn't make any difference. The VLOOKUP could have been:
(I never use absolute references unless crucial, as I find they make formulae harder to look at. Adding them is the user's discretion)
In both cases should there be duplicate values in the first column it will return the first instance from the target column. e.g.
If you were to select the second Tom (value of '5') in a DD list, your result would be '1'. Both VLOOKUP and INDEX/MATCH do this, and it's a pity. Many people (myself included) have tried to use Excel as a database, rather than a spreadsheet, and come a cropper when duplicates occur. There are ways round it though.
The main difference is that VLOOKUP can't return results from columns to the left of the lookup column.
See my example (coloured cells are the lists) - The corresponding 'G' and 'H' cells are INDEX and VLOOKUP respectively - notice the H3 problem.:
The other additional bonus is that I always found LOOKUP, VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP a little confusing. Similar to SUMIF & COUNTIF, unless you use them quite regularly, you tend to forget which one does what without having to refresh yourself. Index/Match takes out some of that.
© Camieabz 2002-2011