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VLOOKUP problems: field doesn't exist.

As a solution to a question I posted the other day ( someone suggested using a VLOOKUP (which is a brilliant idea :smileyhappy:)

Now I've been brave and set up a custom object with two fields in it:

Custom object = Membership_Category_for_Lookup (that's the object name)
Fields = Base_Fee and Membership_Category

So looking at the help section, I thought my VLOOKUP formula should be:

 Membership_Category__c )

But I'm getting an error that says the field $ObjectType.Membership_Category_for_Lookup.Fields.Base_Fee doesn't exist.

I'm a bit stumped. I've tried several things like using the API name and so on, but no luck.

Anyone got any suggestions?

I haven't followed the entire chain of events, but it sounds like you're trying to do the same thing that I am, with the same roadblock.
Best I can tell, you can't use VLOOKUP in a formula field. You can only use it in validation rules.
It's a nifty trick. It just doesn't go far enough! We really, really need this functionality to be useful in formula fields so we can populate fields, not just prevent invalid saves.
If you find another way to accomplish this, I would love, love, love to hear how you did it!
that is correct, it's only good for validation rules.
Kent ManningKent Manning
Yes unfortunately VLOOKUP only works in validation rules.  I sure wish they would make it available to formula fields. 

Go to and vote for this.