how the **HLOOKUP** could be used, we consider an example where we identify the minimum bid for a contract from a list of contractors.

The syntax for **HLOOKUP** is

**=HLOOKUP(search_criteria;array;Index;sorted)**

**Search criterion** is the value searched for in the first row of the array.

**array** is the reference, which is to comprise at least two columns.

**index** is the number of the column in the array that contains the value to be returned. The first column has the number 1.

**sorted** is an optional parameter that indicates whether the first column in the array is sorted in ascending order. Enter the Boolean value FALSE if the first column is not sorted in ascending order. Sorted columns can be searched much faster and the function always returns a value, even if the search value was not matched exactly, if it is between the lowest and highest value of the sorted list. In unsorted lists, the search value must be matched exactly. Otherwise the function will return this message: Error: Value Not Available.

Below, we have a number of contractors and their corresponding bids in an array.

We first use the **MIN** function to place the minimum bid value in **B10**

Row 3 is used to flag the column with the minimum bid. The formula in**B3** is **=IF(B5=$B$10; “P”;””)** We use the Wingding font, which shows a flag symbol instead of the letter “P”.

The **HLOOKUP** function in **B9** then searches for the flag returning the name of company below that flag.