One of the many functions available in Excel is the **EXACT** function, which allows users to compare two text strings and determine if they are precisely the same. However, users may encounter issues where the Excel **EXACT** function is not working as expected, such as returning incorrect results or displaying errors. These issues can be caused by various factors such as extra space, spelling errors or different character cases, etc. In this article, we’ll explain these errors and provide solutions for troubleshooting these problems. The following image depicts an overview of the errors and solutions for the Excel **EXACT** function not working.

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## Introduction to Excel EXACT Function

**The EXACT function** in Excel compares two text strings and returns **TRUE** if they are exactly the same otherwise, it returns **FALSE**. The **EXACT** function is case-sensitive but it ignores formatting differences. The image below shows an overview of the syntax and usage of the **EXACT** function in Excel.

## 3 Suitable Solutions to EXACT Function Not Working in Excel

The following sections will demonstrate 3 common problems and suitable solutions for these problems in Excel. Now, let’s get started.

### Problem 1: Presence of Leading, Trailing, or Extra Spaces in String Input

It is very frequent to have additional spaces in strings while we type or copy or import them. Due to the presence of additional spaces in a string, we may get the output **FALSE** instead of **TRUE**. The following image shows a few of these cases where leading, trailing, or extra spaces in between words are present.

**Solution: Remove Leading, Trailing, or Extra Spaces using Excel TRIM Function**

To troubleshoot this problem, we can remove the leading, trailing, or any other extra spaces from the argument strings by using **the TRIM function**.

To obtain proper results, we inserted the following formula in **Cell D5** and then pressed **Enter** key.

`=EXACT(TRIM(B5),TRIM(C5))`

- Later, we dragged the
**Fill Handle**icon to copy the formula in the remaining cells. And, as we can see, after trimming the extra spaces, the**EXACT**function has returned**TRUE**instead of**FALSE**.

__Formula Breakdown__

**TRIM(B5)**

It trims the leading, trailing, or extra spaces in between words from the first input string.

**TRIM(C5)**

It trims the leading, trailing, or extra spaces in between words from the second input string.

**EXACT(TRIM(B5),TRIM(C5))**

Finally, the **EXACT** function compares the trimmed strings and returns **TRUE** or **FALSE**.

### Problem 2: Use of Different Character Cases in String Input

Since the **EXACT** function is case-sensitive, it will return **FALSE** even if the character case of similar strings is not the same. The following image shows a few of these cases where the **EXACT** function has returned **FALSE** due to different character cases.

**Solution: Use UPPER, LOWER, or PROPER Functions to Standardize Character Cases**

A remedy to this problem is to use the **UPPER**, **LOWER**, or **PROPER** functions for the input strings to standardize their character cases.

To obtain the required output, we can use any of the following 3 formulas and press the **Enter** key.

**Formula 1:**

`=EXACT(LOWER(B5),LOWER(C5))`

**Formula 2:**

`=EXACT(UPPER(B5),UPPER(C5))`

**Formula 3:**

`=EXACT(PROPER(B5),PROPER(C5))`

- Later, use the
**Fill Handle**tool to copy the formula in the remaining cells of**Column D**.

__Formula Breakdown__

**LOWER(B5)**

It converts the first input text string to lowercase

**LOWER(C5)**

It converts the second input text string to lowercase.

**EXACT(LOWER(B5),LOWER(C5))**

Then, the **EXACT** function compares the lowercase text strings and returns **TRUE** or **FALSE**.

**EXACT(UPPER(B7),UPPER(C7))**

This formula works the same as the previous one, except the input strings are converted into uppercase because of the **UPPER **function.

**EXACT(PROPER(B9),PROPER(C9))**

And, in this case, the strings are converted into proper sentence format (capitalizes the first letter of the string).

### Problem 3: Spelling Error in Function Arguments

Spelling errors in input arguments may also result in an alteration of the desired output. In the following image, the **EXACT **function has returned **FALSE** as the input strings are not the same due to spelling errors.

**Solution: Verify Spelling of the Arguments**

There is no direct way to troubleshoot this problem. We have to carefully verify the correct spelling for the input arguments.

## How to Compare Multiple Cells with EXACT Function in Excel

Although the **EXACT** function compares two strings only, we can compare multiple strings stored in multiple cells by combining the **AND** function with it. If all the arguments of **AND** Function evaluate to **TRUE**, then it returns **TRUE**. Otherwise, it returns **FALSE**.

To compare the multiple texts listed in every row of this dataset, insert the following formula in **Cell F5** and press **Enter** key.

`=AND(EXACT(B5:E5,B5))`

- Afterward, copy the formula in the remaining cells by dragging the
**Fill Handle**

__Formula Breakdown__

**EXACT(B5:E5,B5)**

First, the** EXACT** function compares each string in range **B5:E5 **with the string in **Cell B5**. For an exact match, it returns **TRUE**. Otherwise, it returns **FALSE**.

**AND(EXACT(B5:E5,B5))**

If every output from the **EXACT** function for the range **B5:E5** is **TRUE** then **AND** function returns **TRUE**. Else it returns **FALSE**.

## Things to Remember

- The
**EXACT**function is case-sensitive, but it ignores the formatting differences. - Extra spaces (leading, trailing, or in between words) in the input string result in a different output.
- By combining the
**AND**function with the**EXACT**function, we can compare multiple strings.

## Conclusion

This concludes our article to learn about the solutions of Excel **EXACT** function not working. We demonstrated 3 suitable problems and their solutions here. We hope these solutions will work as remedies for your problems with the Excel **EXACT** function not working. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the article in the comment section. Visit our website **ExcelDemy.com** for more articles.