Apple is bringing iCloud Keychain support to Chrome for Windows

Apple is finally bringing iCloud Keychain to the iCloud for Windows 10 app, but it's not quite ready yet.

Netflix Party Not Working? A Troubleshooting Guide

We live in a day and age where you need not be right next to someone to enjoy a film or TV show with them. With Netflix Party, you can watch the same thing with a number of people on different computers.

But is Netflix Party not working for you? Here's a troubleshooting guide to make sure that movie night is back on.

What Is Netflix Party?

Teleparty, better known by its former name Netflix Party, is a free Google Chrome, Edge, and Opera browser extension that allows you to watch video content with your friends online. Teleparty synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and HBO.

The extension's name was changed from Netflix Party to Teleparty when it added support for other streaming services in October 2020. Despite the change, most people still refer to Teleparty as Netflix Party.

Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that Netflix has over 200 million subscribers.

General Tips to Fix Netflix Party Issues

As Netflix Party doesn't have too many features, most of the problem you might have using the Netflix Party extension don't come from the extension itself, but rather your computer or internet connection.

Common Netflix Party problems are usually solved by one of the following fixes:

  • Make sure the Netflix Party host sent the correct link, and that all the invited watchers clicks the Netflix Party button after opening the link.
  • Close and re-open your browser.
  • Restart your laptop or computer.
  • Restart your router.
  • Check for internet problems or improve your Wi-Fi connection.
  • Uninstall and reinstall the Netflix Party extension.
  • Use Downdetector to see if Netflix's services are down.

How to Solve Issues Specific to Netflix Party

If none of the above tips got your Netflix Party up and running, then it's likely a system requirements or installation issue.

1. Use a Compatible Browser and Device

The Netflix Party browser extension that is only available for the Google Chrome, Opera, and Microsoft Edge browsers on laptops and desktop computers. It is not available for iOS, Android, Tablet, smart TVs, gaming consoles, nor any other devices just yet.

2. Check If Everyone Has Access to Netflix

If you want to start or join a Netflix Party, you're going to need access to a Netflix account. The browser extension is free to use, but it doesn't grant you access to Netflix if you don't already have it.

Related: How Much Data Does Netflix Use?

It is possible for multiple users of one shared Netflix account to join a party together, but the account needs to be on a membership plan that allows multiple viewers to watch Netflix at the same time.

3. Check the Number of Party Participants

Netflix Party can reliably support up to 50 people in the same party. However, the number of people that can join a single party really depends on the current load on Netflix Party servers.

If you can't seem to join a host's party, it's possible that the party has reached maximum capacity. There aren't any workarounds for this, unfortunately. You'll have to wait until someone leaves the party before you can join.

4. Follow the Instructions

This might sound like a very obvious thing, but you'd be surprised how many folks prefer a more hands-on approach to learning; they throw the manual away and say "I'll just figure it out" when it comes to new gadgets or applications.

Assuming that there are no problems with your browser nor your browser extension, the steps to use Teleparty are quick and easy. If you are the Teleparty host:

  1. Open a video on Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, or HBO.
  2. Click on the Teleparty icon next to the browser address bar, then on the Start Party button that appears.
  3. Share the given URL with your friends.

If you are going to join a host's Teleparty:

  1. Click on the party URL that the host provided. This should direct you to a video on a streaming website.
  2. Click on the Teleparty icon next to the browser address bar. You should automatically join the party.

Use Other Netflix Watch Party Services

Netflix Party hit browsers in early 2020, and its popularity has exploded ever since. Its one feature is so simple, but now feels so essential.

If you still can't get Netflix Party to work, there are other services like Kast and Watch2Gether that also let you host a watch party.


Research Shows that Shorter Movie Release Windows Boost Revenue, Not Piracy

After a film premieres at the box office, movie fans typically have to wait a few months before they can see it online, depending on the local release strategy.

This delay tactic, known as a release window, helps movie theaters to maximize their revenues. However, for many pirates, this is also a reason to turn to unauthorized sites and services.

Shrinking Release Windows

In recent years these release windows have slowly decreased and this process was accelerated in the COVID pandemic. Increasingly, traditional delays have come down, and in some cases, release windows have disappeared completely. Warner Bros, for example, now releases movies on HBO Max and in theaters simultaneously.

This shift is nothing short of a historic breakthrough. While more choice is good for consumers, these changes also breed uncertainty. Some movie industry insiders and theater owners, for example, fear that their income will be negatively impacted. At the same time, there are concerns that piracy will spike.

These and other questions are addressed in new research conducted by Carnegie Mellon’s Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics (IDEA). The research group, which received millions of dollars in gifts from the Motion Picture Association, just analyzed how early releases affect piracy and box office revenue.

Impact on Box Office and Piracy

The results are published in a non-peer-reviewed paper titled The Impact of Early Digital Movie Releases on Box Office Revenue: Evidence from the Korean Market.

As the title suggests, the research focuses on the Korean movie market which is the fourth-largest in the world, following the US, China, and Japan. In recent years movie studios have experimented with release windows in korea, which are significantly shorter than in other countries, including the US.

Instead of waiting three months, Korean “Super Premium” digital releases typically come out a month after the theatrical release. This means that movies are available while they are still playing in theaters.

The researchers use this unique situation to compare various movie revenue streams, as well as piracy figures, with the United States. To get the full picture, they also add in the effect of early versus regular digital releases in Korea itself.

Box Office Revenue is Unaffected

Following a complex statistical analysis, the researchers can estimate the effect of the early “Super Premium” releases on Korean box office revenue. They find a small negative effect of less than 1%, which isn’t statistically significant.

“We find a statistically and economically insignificant decline in theatrical revenue due to the early SP release, equivalent to an approximate 0.8% drop in total theatrical revenue in Korea during the first eight weeks of the theatrical run,” the researchers conclude.

This is an important finding as it shows that releasing a digital copy of movie months in advance doesn’t hurt theater revenues. This suggests that both consumption channels are complementary, which is great news for movie studios.

More Revenue for Movie Studios

And indeed, the researchers find that “Super Premium” video on demand (SPVOD) releases boost studio revenue by roughly 12% during the first weeks.

“Using digital movie sales data in Korea and industry estimates of studio margins on theatrical and SPVOD revenue, we estimate that SPVOD releases increase the marginal revenue received by studios in the first eight weeks of a movie’s Korean release by approximately 12%.”

While this all sounds positive, it’s undeniable that these early releases also impact piracy. This is confirmed by the data which show that the “pirate” release windows are also decreasing. Not just in Korea, but globally too.

No Boost in Piracy Figures

According to the researchers, however, this isn’t much of a problem. People will download pirated copies earlier, but the data don’t show that the piracy volume in Korea or the US increases for these movie titles. Pirates just get to download a film sooner.

“Finally, while the data from torrent piracy suggest that early SPVOD releases lead to earlier global availability of high-quality piracy sources, we see no evidence that these early sources increase piracy demand for movies released in SPVOD windows in either the Korean or US markets.”

All in all, the findings show that the movie industry is on the right track by shortening release windows. It’s not just good for consumers but also increases studios’ income too.

More Research Needed

That said, it’s far too early to generalize. This study looked at a very specific set of movies for which the “Super Premium” release came out after 28 days. It could very well be that longer, shorter, or no delays will have a different impact.

This shortcoming is recognized by the researchers who also stress that more research into the effects on piracy is needed. Especially in cases where a movie is released in one country before it’s available somewhere else.

But with more and more release experiments taking place, we expect that follow-up studies are already underway.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.


Facebook Hasn’t Followed Through on Promise to Combat Holocaust Denial

After Facebook vowed to crack down on content pertaining to Holocaust denial, it seems that the platform still hasn't done enough to eradicate this. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has found that Facebook still has ineffective enforcement policies for this kind of hate speech.

Facebook Hasn't Been Enforcing Its Own Policy

In a press release on the ADL website, the organization revealed Facebook's shortcomings in removing content related to Holocaust denial.

Facebook promised that it would ban any posts that deny the Holocaust in October of 2020. Previously, the platform let Holocaust denial run rampant on the platform, and this change was supposed to put a stop to that.

The ADL did an in-depth investigation on Holocaust denial content across various social platforms, and found that Facebook stands out as one of the worst offenders.

Facebook received a grade of "D" in the ADL's official report card on Holocaust denial. Other platforms, like Reddit and Discord, received the same poor grade. Meanwhile, Twitch received a grade of "B," the highest of the bunch.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of ADL noted that "while some platforms have finally stepped up their efforts to stop the amplification of denial, others are still struggling to address antisemitism and Holocaust denial effectively." It seems that Facebook is one of these struggling platforms.

Facebook has since disagreed with the ADL's findings, and commented on the matter in a statement to CNET, saying:

We don't agree—we've made major progress in fighting Holocaust denial on Facebook by implementing a new policy prohibiting it and enforcing against these hateful lies in every country around the world.

After the ADL report surfaced, Guy Rosen, Facebook's VP of Integrity made a post on the About Facebook Blog. Rosen mentioned a change coming to the platform to curtail the prevalence of Holocaust denial.

He noted that whenever a user searches for "terms associated with either the Holocaust or Holocaust denial," they'll see a prompt that encourages them to "connect with credible information about the Holocaust off Facebook." For now, the notification will be rolled out to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, Ireland, and the United States.

Facebook's Continuing Battle With Hate Speech

Facebook's failure to properly remove content that denies the Holocaust shows the platform's inefficiency at eliminating hate speech. If the ADL found fault with Facebook in this regard, Facebook is likely not doing a good job policing other types of hate speech.

The platform banned Jewish conspiracy theories and blackface in August 2020, but it's unclear as to whether Facebook is strictly enforcing these policies or not.


The best weight tracking apps for iPhone

Check out our list of the best apps for tracking weight on your iPhone. Enter your weight regularly, view your changes over time, and more.

How to Manipulate Images in the Linux Terminal

Ever tire of constantly opening up your favorite image editor for a simple crop, resize, or to change the file format? Maybe you have a need to easily perform these tasks in batch or within software?

Here's how to use the Linux convert tool, which allows you to do all this with terminal via the command line, and much more.

Install ImageMagick

The convert tool is part of the popular imagemagick package, which you need to have installed. Check to see whether or not ImageMagick is installed with the command:

convert --version

If the version number of ImageMagick is displayed, then it's already installed and you may move onto the next section. Otherwise, install ImageMagick with the command:

sudo apt-get -y install imagemagick

Get Image Information

You may get the basic information on any image with the command:

convert <FILENAME> -print "Type: %m
Size: %b
Dimensions: %wx%h
" /dev/null

This will give you the image mime type, filesize in KB, and its dimensions in pixels, and will look similar to:

Type: jpeg
Size: 35.6KB
Dimensions: 640 x 480

Change Image File Format

You may easily change the file format of any image with:

convert <SOURCE_FILE> -append <DEST_FILE>

This command will take the <SOURCE_FILE> file, convert it into the proper format and save a new image at <DEST_FILE> You must use the correct file extensions (i.e., JPG, GIF, PNG, etc.) for the DEST_FILE and it will automatically detect which format to convert the image to.

Resize an Image in Linux

If you want to resize an image, or maybe quickly generate a thumbnail, you can do so with the -resize option. Run the following command:

convert -resize 25% <SOURCE_FILE> <DEST_FILE>

This will resize the image, and create a new image file at DEST_FILE that is 25% the dimensions of the source image. Please note, the above command does not reduce the size by 25%, but instead generates a new image that is 25% of the size. If you need to enlarge an image, you may adjust the percent to greater than 100%.

Instead of resizing by percentage, you may also specify the specific dimensions with the command:

convert -resize 1024x768 profile.jpg profile_large2.jpg

The above command would resize the source image to 1024x768 pixels, and save the new image at DEST_FILE.

Crop an Image

If you need to take a little off the top or sides, you may crop an image with the following command:

convert <SOURCE_FILE> -crop 640x250+0+0 <DEST_FILE>

For example, if the source image was 640x480 pixels, the above command would result in DEST_FILE being an image of 640x250 pixels containing the top half of the image while the bottom half was cropped out. The +0+0 in the above command specifies the top left most point of the image, or in other words, where to begin cropping.

Using the above example, you may save the bottom half of the image instead with the command:

convert <SOURCE_FILE> -crop 640x250+0+230 <DEST_FILE>

This will begin the cropping at 0x230 within the source image, cropping out the top half and leaving only the bottom half.

Rotate Image

You can even rotate images by using the command:

convert <SOURCE_FILE> -rotate 90 <DEST_FILE>

The above command will rotate the source image by 90 degrees clockwise and save the resulting image in DEST_FILE.

Add Caption to Image

Another excellent feature of the convert tool is the ability to instantly add captions to images, including where in the image to place the caption, plus the font family, size and color to use. Use the following command to add a caption to an image:

convert profile.jpg -pointsize 14 -font helvetica -fill yellow -draw 'text 270,160 "Warm Regards from the Family" ' profile_cap.jpg

The above command will place a caption of "Warm Regards from the Family" onto the source image using the font Helvetica 14pt in yellow, with the top left point of the image starting at 270x160 pixels, and save the results in DEST_FILE.

Please note, you must be careful with the -draw option, which must begin in single quotes followed by the location of the top left most point, then by the text of the caption surrounded by double quotes.

There is a huge list of colors available, and if desired you may list all colors supported by your computer with the command:


The selection of fonts varies depending on your computer, but all standard fonts that are generally used will be there. Each operating system is a little different, but in Ubuntu for example, the fonts are located within the /usr/share/fonts directory and contains a list of all available system fonts you may use in the above command.

Mix and Match Image Editing Commands

You may mix and match any of the above options into a single command for greater efficiency. For example, if you have a large image that is in the wrong orientation, 2571x1200 pixels in size, and you wanted to generate a 300x200 thumbnail you could use the command:

convert <SOURCE_FILE> -rotate 90 -crop 1200x800 -resize 25% <DEST_FILE>

The above would first rotate the image by 90 degrees, making the new size 1200x2571 pixels. Next it would crop the excess off the bottom so it's only 800 pixels in height, and finally resize the image to 25% of its original size resulting in a final thumbnail 300x200 pixels in size.

Batch Process an Image Directory

Have an entire directory of images you want to process with the same command? It's no problem in Linux. For example, you might wish to generate thumbnails of all images in your current working directory by resizing them to 30% of their current:

mkdir thumbs
for i in `ls | grep .jpg$`; do convert $i -resize 30% thumbs/$i; done

The above command will go through all files in your current directory that have a .jpg extension, resize them to 30% of their size, and place the resulting thumbnails in the /thumbs/ sub-directory.

Image Manipulation Made Easy!

Through this tutorial you've hopefully taken away the ability to painlessly and effortlessly manipulate images via the terminal, and easily batch process an entire directory with a single command.

You've learned what ImageMagick's convert tool is, plus how to change file format, resize, crop, rotate, and add captions to images with ease. There is also a great deal of additional functionality available---try the convert -help option for a full list.


How to Generate 2FA Codes on Windows 10 With Google Authenticator

Do you find it inconvenient to pick up your phone every time you need to use Google Authenticator? Luckily, if you use a Windows 10 PC, you can actually bring your phone’s authentication function to your computer.

There are now apps and browser extensions that enable you to generate 2FA codes right on your computer. This eliminates the need to have your phone with you all the time to be able to log in to your 2FA-enabled web accounts.

In this guide, we cover how to use Google Authenticator on Windows 10.

Generate a Secret Key for Your Google Account

To use Google Authenticator on your Windows 10 PC, you’re going to need the secret key for your Google account. You can obtain this key by logging in and going to the security area in your Google account.

Related: How to Secure Your Accounts With 2FA: Gmail, Outlook, and More

Here we show you how to do that, step-by-step:

  1. Open a new tab in your browser and head over to the Google My Account page. Log in to your account if you haven’t already.
  2. Click Security on the left.
  3. Find the 2-Step Verification option on the right and click it.
  4. Google might ask you to re-enter your account password. Do so and continue.
  5. On the following screen, if you’ve already set up the Authenticator app, click the Change Phone option. Otherwise, click Set Up.
  6. Select Android on the following screen and click Next. You’re pretending as if you’re configuring the secret code on an Android device.
  7. You’ll see a QR code on your screen. Click the option that says Can’t Scan It to view your secret key.
  8. You should now see a secret key that’s specific to your Google account. Note this key as you’ll need it while configuring the Authenticator app on your PC.
  9. Keep this tab open in your browser.

Make sure you don’t share your secret key with anyone, as the key lets anyone generate 2FA codes for your account.

Furthermore, for the following tutorials, keep your My Account page open. You'll need it again in a moment.

Use Google Authenticator on Windows 10

Now that you have your secret key, you need to get an app that can utilize this key and help you generate 2FA codes on your Windows 10 PC. There are actually quite a few apps that let you generate 2FA codes, and we cover some of those options here.

Use WinAuth to Generate 2FA Codes on Windows 10

WinAuth is a free, portable, and open-source app that lets you use Google Authenticator on your Windows PC. Once you’ve added your key, you can use this app to generate 2FA codes to log in to your Google account.

You can configure this app with your secret key as follows:

  1. Download the WinAuth ZIP file and extract it on your PC.
  2. Double-click the executable file to launch the WinAuth app.
  3. On the main interface, click Add to add a new account.
  4. From the available options, click Google as you’re adding a Google account.
  5. Enter a name that helps you recognize this account in the Name field, then choose an icon of your choice.
  6. Type or paste the secret key in the given field. This is the secret key you noted earlier on the My Account page on Google.
  7. Once you’ve entered the key, click the Verify Authenticator button, and you’ll see a six-digit code in the app.
  8. Head back to Google's My Account page that you’ve kept open in your browser. Click the Next button on that page.
  9. Google now asks you to input the code that your Authenticator app has generated. Enter the six-digit code here that you obtained from WinAuth, and then click Verify.
  10. Your page should display a success message if everything went well.
  11. Get back to WinAuth and click OK.
  12. WinAuth asks that you protect your authentication by using a password. Enter a password of your choice in both Password and Verify fields, and then click OK at the bottom.

WinAuth should now be able to provide you with a 2FA code each time you need one.

Use Authenticator to Generate 2FA Codes on Windows 10

If you’d rather use a browser extension, Authenticator (free) is a good choice. It’s a Chrome extension that allows you to generate 2FA codes for your accounts without leaving the browser.

Like WinAuth, all you need to do is configure this extension with your secret key, and you’re ready to start generating 2FA codes.

Here’s how you use the extension on your PC:

  1. Open Google Chrome on your PC.
  2. Head over to the Authenticator page on the Chrome Web Store, and click the Add to Chrome button.
  3. Click Add extension in the prompt.
  4. Once the extension is installed, click the Authenticator icon in the top bar.
  5. Click the pencil icon and then hit Add (+).
  6. Select the Manual Entry option as you’ll be manually entering the secret key.
  7. Type Google in the Issuer field and enter your secret key in the Secret field.
  8. Expand Advanced and enter your Google account username in the Username field.
  9. Select Time Based from the Type dropdown menu, and click Ok.
  10. To generate a 2FA code, simply click the Authenticator icon in your browser, and it will display a code for you to use.

How to Remove Google Authenticator on Windows 10

Google only permits you to use one Authenticator app at a time. Therefore, before you remove the Google Authenticator feature from your PC, you need to set that feature up on your other device.

If you don’t do that, you won’t be able to generate 2FA codes to log in to your Google account, and you will basically be locked out of your own account (see how to recover a Google account).

Configure the feature on your other device, and then you can uninstall the Google Authenticator apps you’ve installed on your PC.

Generating Google Authenticator Codes on Windows 10

If you need 2FA codes for your online accounts frequently, it’s a good idea to set the Google Authenticator feature up on your PC. This should eliminate the hassle of reaching for your phone each time you need a code.

It’s easy to use Google Authenticator on both desktops as well as smartphones. If you ever change your phones, you can quickly move your Authenticator settings to the new phone.


Low on RAM? Microsoft Teams Will Soon Use Less of It

If you're a little short on RAM, you likely know the pain of watching your memory fill up the moment you open more than two applications at once. Fortunately, Microsoft is planning to reduce how much RAM Teams eats, thus freeing things up so you can get more work done.

Microsoft's Plans for Team's RAM Usage

Unfortunately, we don't have any big announcements or detailed roadmap plans to explain how Microsoft will achieve this feat. All we have for confirmation right now is a single Microsoft Teams UserVoice thread that the software giant has graced with its presence.

UserVoice is a forum-like system that Microsoft uses to gather feedback from its users. People can post what they want to see from Microsoft's services, and people who agree with the post can vote it up. The more votes a suggestion has, the higher up the rankings it goes and the more likely Microsoft will consider the feature.

The feature suggestion in question was posted back on March 15, 2018. UserVoice member Daniel Gauthier expressed his disdain for how much RAM Teams was using.

Since then, users from around the world have supported his suggestion with votes and comments. Some of them compare Microsoft Teams to the infamous RAM-eater Google Chrome; the problem is, there are ways to free up Chrome's RAM usage, while Microsoft Teams has no such freedom.

Fortunately, after a few years, Microsoft has finally granted everyone their wish. The software giant didn't announce the feature, neither did they comment in the thread; instead, they have marked the feature as "Working On It," meaning they're now actively finding a solution.

We have no ETA on when the update will release, neither do we know how Microsoft will fix the problem. However, if you've noticed your PC comes to a noticeable crawl when Teams is open, rest assured that Microsoft is working on it.

The Problem That Prodded Microsoft Into Action

This feature likely came to Microsoft's sudden attention due to the COVID-19 pandemic. People working and studying from home have been snapping up cheap laptops to do their work, which naturally comes with less RAM.

If Microsoft hopes to push Teams as one of the biggest remote work apps in the world, it needs to ensure that the software can run on low amounts of RAM. Otherwise, people may jump ship to Microsoft's competitors; by the looks of the UserVoice comments section above, some already have.

Reducing RAM Usage to Boost Productivity

If your system breaks into a sweat every time you boot up Microsoft Teams, your woes may soon be over. We'll have to keep an eye on Microsoft to see if it will give us a more solid release date.

Of course, you can also potentially solve the problem by grabbing more RAM. It's not a suitable solution for some systems like laptops, but it can be quick and easy to fix if you can install more RAM sticks.

Image Credit: Gorodenkoff /


How to Do a VLOOKUP in an Excel Spreadsheet

Do you want to check for a particular value in your Excel spreadsheet and look through specific information about it at the same time? Running a VLOOKUP saves a lot of effort in that case. It's one of the best ways to run a vertical query in Microsoft Excel.

Let's take a look at how to use VLOOKUP in an Excel spreadsheet.

What Is VLOOKUP and How Does It Work?

Using a VLOOKUP to check your spreadsheet is just like searching for an item on Google or making a database query to return specific items if they're there.

In essence, VLOOKUP works by looking through a set of items in a column and giving you a result based on the information you choose to see about that column. For instance, you can decide to look for the price of an item by searching its model name.

Although VLOOKUP is limited to the vertical orientation, it's an essential tool that makes other Excel tasks easier. These tasks could include calculating the standard deviation in Excel or even working out weighted averages in Excel.

VLOOKUP supports a flexible approximate matching search or a more stringent exact matching query feature. In essence, the exact match looks for the precise value of data in an Excel column. But the approximate matching feature gives you results based on only some matching words or characters in your search term.

How to Write a VLOOKUP Formula

The VLOOKUP formula typically requires four arguments and looks like this:

=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, column_index_number, range_lookup)

The lookup value is the target item you want to check out, and this must fall on the first column of your spreadsheet. The table array is the parent data you wish to search.

When performing a VLOOKUP, you also want to return your result based on a particular value. The position of the column containing that value is the column index number. However, the range lookup takes in TRUE for an approximate matching or FALSE for an exact match.

Related: Search Excel Spreadsheets Faster: Replace VLOOKUP With INDEX and MATCH

How to Use VLOOKUP

Now that you know the architecture of a VLOOKUP formula. Let's see how it works in practice with the following Excel VLOOKUP examples and steps.

Assume you have a spreadsheet containing the following columns: Name of products, reviews, and price. You then want Excel to return the number of reviews for a particular product.

Using this VLOOKUP example, let's see how to do that with the following steps.

  1. Type the name of the product you want to lookup in any cell below or beside your parent data (ensure that you avoid typos).
  2. Next, select an empty cell next to the new cell you just created that now contains the product you want to lookup.
  3. In that new cell, type =VLOOKUP. Excel typically recommends a completion. When you see that, hit Tab on your keyboard to continue with the VLOOKUP formula.
  4. Then highlight the cell you just created that contains the target product name. Doing this appends its cell position to the VLOOKUP formula. Type a comma after the highlighted cell in the VLOOKUP formula. For example, if your target item or product is on cell E6, the formula becomes =VLOOKUP(E6, for now.
    Type the Vlookup formula in the next cell
  5. Next, highlight the entire parent data (table array) to drop it in your formula as well. If your table array is between A2 and C9, your formula becomes =VLOOKUP(E6,A2:C9, with a comma at the end.
  6. Type the column number of the value you want to view the target item on. Columns are typically associated with letters in Excel, but in this case you need to count its number (A is 1, B is 2, and so on). Type a comma after it.
  7. Type FALSE if you want an exact match of the item you entered. Otherwise, type TRUE to view it by the most available approximate match for it.
  8. Your final formula should look like this: =VLOOKUP(E6,A2:C9,2,FALSE), depending on the parameters you entered.
  9. Then hit Enter to get your result.
    Highlight the parent data, enter the column index number and select a matching feature

Note: If you have to assign column names to the cells bearing the results, ensure that you use paraphrased words different from those in the parent table.

How to Do a VLOOKUP for Multiple Items

You can also look up multiple values in a column with VLOOKUP. This can come in handy when you need to perform operations like plotting Excel graphs or charts on the resulting data. Let's see how to do this with the following steps:

  1. Type all the items you want to look up in separate cells (the selected product names in this case).
  2. Select the cell next to the first product and type =VLOOKUP(.
  3. Next, highlight the first item (lookup value) from the ones you just typed to add it to the VLOOKUP formula. Type a comma after that.
    Select the first cell from the list of items
  4. Highlight the entire parent data (table array) to add its range to the formula as well. Then ensure that you hit the F4 key on your keyboard to make the result absolute, so it doesn't change when you copy the formula. Separate this from the next argument by a comma. Your formula should change to something like this: =VLOOKUP(E6,$A$2:$C$13).
  5. Type in the column number of the column you want to look up data in. For example, if the number of reviews is on the second column, type 2. Then put a comma after that.
  6. Then type FALSE to get exact matches.
    Highlight the entire parent table, press F4, enter the column index number and False
  7. Your final formula should look something like this: =VLOOKUP(E6,$A$2:$C$13,2,FALSE), depending on your chosen parameters.
  8. Close the parenthesis and hit Enter.
  9. Once the result appears against the first lookup value, drag the results cell down to fill the formula in for all the other products as well.
    Drag the first cell down to append the result to other products

How to Create a Relationship Between Excel Sheets With VLOOKUP

You can also relate tables in different sheets using VLOOKUP. This is helpful when you have a parent sheet (otherwise known as the Excel lookup table) and its subset on another sheet, and you want to draw information from the parent spreadsheet into the subset sheet.

However, for this VLOOKUP example, assume that a subset of the example data we used earlier is on another Excel sheet. That subset then only has some selected products and their prices, but not the number of reviews.

The aim is to get the reviews for these selected products from the parent spreadsheet and paste them against each product in the subset sheet. Let's see how you can achieve this with the following steps:

  1. Create a new Excel column in the subset spreadsheet, ensure that you use a paraphrased column name. For example, you can name it "Number of reviews" instead of "Reviews".
  2. Next, place your cursor in the first cell (against the first product) under the new column and type =VLOOKUP(.
  3. Select the first product from the subset data to append it to the VLOOKUP formula and put a comma after it.
    Select the first cell containing the product name
  4. Go back to the parent spreadsheet and highlight the whole data table. Then ensure that you hit key F4 to make the result applicable to other selected products. You'll now see the lookup formula in the formula bar. Type a comma after pressing F4.
  5. While still in the parent sheet, look at the formula bar and type the column number for the reviews column. Then separate it from the next argument by a comma.
  6. In the same parent sheet, type FALSE since you want an exact match of each product in this case.
    Jump to the parent sheet to complete the Vlookup formula and hit Enter
  7. Close the parenthesis and hit Enter. Excel then takes you back to the subset data and displays the review result for the first product.
  8. Next, drag down the result for the first product to see results for the other products in the subset sheet.
    Drag the cell down in the subset data to see results for other values

Take Control of Your Query With Excel Lookups

VLOOKUP is a great way to query data faster in Microsoft Excel. Although VLOOKUP queries vertically across the column and has a few other limitations, Microsoft keeps updating its Excel lookup features to expand the lookup functionalities.

For instance, HLOOKUP has a horizontal orientation. But XLOOKUP is a new feature that can look both vertically and horizontally in a spreadsheet. Most of these lookup features follow the same process, with only a few differences. Using any of them for any specific lookup purpose is a smart way to get a hold of your Excel queries.


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