There are many ways to compare cells in Excel. You can compare two cells and find matches, differences, and some other operations using Excel. In this article, we will discuss several easy and handy methods to compare cells.

Here, we show a sample method where we used the **IF** function to show whether there is any difference between the cells **B5** and **C5**. The result is shown in the output column.

## Download Excel Workbook

You can download the practice workbook that we have used to prepare this article.

## 10 Easy Methods to Compare Two Cells in Excel

We are going to use the below dataset in order to demonstrate how you can compare two cell in Excel. to avoid any compatibility issue, you should opt for the Excel 365 edition.

**1. Compare Two Cells Side by Side Using Equal to Sign**

Using this method, you can find whether two cells contain similar data or not. Besides, this method compares data regardless of their type. For instance, we want to compare column **Name 1** to column **Name 2**. Here are the following steps:

📌 **Steps: **

- Type the following formula in Cell
**D5**(to compare**B5**&**C5**).

`=B5=C5`

- Drag down the
**Fill Handle (+)**to copy the formula to the rest of the cells.

**Read More: Compare Two Cells in Excel and Return TRUE or FALSE (5 Quick Ways)**

**2. Use IF Function to Compare Two Cells**

Comparing using the **IF function** is very handy. Likewise, equal to sign, you can find matches/mismatches using this function. In our example, we will match column **List 1** and column **List 2.**

📌 **Steps:**

- Insert
**IF**function in**Cell D5**and select the arguments.

`=IF(B6=C6,"Match","Not a Match")`

- Entered the above-mentioned formula you will get the following result. Finally, drag down the
**Fill Handle (+)**of**Cell D5**to copy the formula to the rest of the cells.

**Read More: Return YES If 2 Cells Match in Excel (10 Methods)**

**3. Insert Excel EXACT Function to Compare Two Cells**

Sometimes, cells contain text both in uppercase and in lowercase style. If you want to find if both the cells are containing uppercase or lowercase text then the **EXACT function** would be a great help.

📌 **Steps:**

- To compare
**Cell B5**and**Cell C5**, type**EXACT**function select necessary cells for arguments.

`=EXACT(B5,C5)`

- Upon entering the formula, you will get the following result. Later, drag down
**Fill Handle (+)**of**Cell D5**to copy the formula to the rest of the column.

**Read More: Excel Compare Two Strings for Similarity (3 Easy Ways)**

**4. Combine IF and EXACT Functions to Compare Two Cells in Excel**

You can compare two cells using the combination of **IF** and **EXACT **functions. Besides, the combination of these two functions is more effective. Because, the **EXACT** function checks the exactness of the data, and the **IF **function returns the condition of the data.

📌** Steps:**

- To compare
**Cell B5**and**Cell C5**, enter the formula combining both functions:

`=IF(EXACT(B5,C5), "Match","")`

- After entering the formula, you will get the following result.

**5. Highlight Matching Data to Compare Two Cells**

Suppose, you have two different sets of data in excel and you want to analyze matched values in cells. **Conditional formatting** offers great help in solving such situations. Moreover, you can **highlight matched cells** very easily by using this method.

📌 **Steps:**

- Select the dataset.

- Go to
**Home**>**Conditional Formatting**from**Styles g**roup.

- Click
**New Rule**From**Conditional Formatting.**

- A new dialogue box will show up. Select the rule
**“Use a formula to determine which cells to format”**.

- Type the following formula in the description box.

`=$B5=$C5`

- Click the
**Format**button, go to the**Fill**tab and choose the color. Then, click**OK**.

Finally, If you follow the above steps correctly, all matched cells in the two columns will be highlighted. Conversely, differently named rows would not be highlighted.

**Read More: Compare Two Cells Using Conditional Formatting in Excel (3 Methods)**

**6. Compare and Highlight Two Cells with Unique Data in Excel**

Similar to the previous method, by using** Conditional Formatting**, you can compare two cells in various ways. For example, you can find unique values between two datasets.

📌 **Steps:**

- Select the dataset.

- Go to
**Home**>**Conditional Formatting**from**Styles**group.

- Press the
**Duplicate Values**option from**Highlight Cell Rules**.

- Subsequently, the
**Duplicate Values**dialogue box will show up. Choose the**Unique**option from the drop-down.

- You can also choose the color of the highlight from the drop-down by using the
**Custom Format**option.

- Then, enter
**OK**.

- And, the final output is, all the unique values between cells are highlighted.

**Read More: How to Compare Two Cells and Change Color in Excel (2 Ways)**

**7. Use LEFT & RIGHT Functions to Compare Two Cells Partially **

Sometimes, you might need to match two cells partially. For example, you may need to compare only the first or last 3 characters of the cell. In those situations, **LEFT or RIGHT** functions can be used. **The LEFT function** returns the specified number of characters from the start of a text string. And similarly, **the RIGHT function** returns the characters from the right. In our example, we will match 3 Leftmost/Rightmost characters.

**7.1. Compare Using LEFT Function**

📌** Steps:**

- To match first 3 characters of
**Cell B5**and**Cell C5**, here is the formula using**LEFT**Function:

`=LEFT(B5,3)=LEFT(C5,3)`

- After entering the above formula correctly, the following is the output. Click
**Fill Handle (+)**of**Cell D5**to copy the formula to the rest of the column.

**7.2. Compare Using RIGHT Function**

📌** Steps:**

- To match the last 3 characters of cell
**H5**and cell**I5**, Insert the**RIGHT**Function and select or type arguments. Here is the Formula:

`=RIGHT(H5,3)=RIGHT(I5,3)`

- After you enter the above formula, the following is the output. Click the
**Fill Handle (+)**of cell**D5**to copy the formula to the rest of the column.

**8. Using VLOOKUP and Find Matches in Excel**

**The VLOOKUP function** is one of the easy ways to compare cells. It is commonly used to analyze Excel data. The **VLOOKUP** function looks for a value in the leftmost column in a table and then returns a value in the same row from the specified column. If you want to find any value to a column **VLOOKUP** function can be used.

📌** Steps:**

- If we want to match the value of
**Cell C5**in Column**Name 1**, then the formula will be:

`=IFERROR(VLOOKUP(C5,$B$5:$B$11,1,0),"No Match")`

**Breakdown of the Formula:**

**VLOOKUP(C5,$B$5:$B$11,1,0)**

Here, the **VLOOKUP** function looks for a value in the leftmost column of a table and then returns a value in the same row from a column you specify. So, the function will look for **C5** in the range **B5:B11** and return:

{John}

Conversely, when the function will find **C6** in range **B5:B11**, it will return a **#N/A **error because **C6** is not present in the prescribed range.

**IFERROR(VLOOKUP(C5,$B$5:$B$11,1,0), “No Match”)**

**The IFERROR function** returns value_if_error if the expression is an error and the value of the expression itself otherwise. In our example, we have put **“No Match” **as an argument. As a result, when we will look for **C6** in the above-mentioned range, the formula returns:

{No Match}

- After entering the formula, you will get the matched name in a 3rd column.
**Fill Handle (+)**is used to copy the formula for the rest of the cells.

**9. Using VLOOKUP and Find Differences**

**VLOOKUP** can also be used to find differences between cells. the **VLOOKUP** function, in combination with **IF **& **ISERROR function**, finds a particular value in a range of data and returns the differences/similarity as output.

📌 **Steps:**

- If we want to find data in
**Cell C5**in Column**Name 1**, then the formula will be:

`=IF(ISERROR(VLOOKUP(C5,$B$5:$B$11,1,0)),"Not Available","Available")`

**Breakdown of the Formula:**

**VLOOKUP(C5,$B$5:$B$11,1,0)**

The **VLOOKUP** function looks for a value in the leftmost column of a table and then returns a value in the same row from a column you specify. So, the function will return:

{John}

Unfortunately, this is not the ultimate result we want from this method. We want to know whether any value is present in a range or not. So, the next part of the formula is:

**ISERROR(VLOOKUP(C5,$B$5:$B$11,1,0))**

Here, the **ISERROR** function checks whether a value is an error, and returns TRUE or FALSE. So, for **D5**, the function will find the value of **C5** in the range **B5:B11** and return:

{FALSE}

The reason is, **C5** is present in the mentioned range. Likewise, for other cells when an error will be found, it will return **“TRUE”**.

**IF(ISERROR(VLOOKUP(C5,$B$5:$B$11,1,0)),”Not Available”,”Available”)**

Now comes the final part. The **IF** function checks whether a condition is met, and returns one value if true, and another value if false. We put **“Not Available”** and **“Available”** as arguments. Finally, for **D5**, the function returns:

{Available}

📌 **Step 2:**

- After entering the formula you will find the differences in the
**Output**Column.**Fill Handle (+)**is used to copy the formula for the rest of the cells.

**10. Compare Two Cells with Greater Than or Less Than Criteria**

Sometimes, you may need to compare two cells in excel to find which one is greater/lesser. For example, you can compare numbers, dates, etc. In such situations, we can use the **IF** function to do the comparison.

📌 **Steps:**

- In our dataset, if we want to compare between
**Cell B5**and**Cell C5**, We have used following formula:

`=IF(B5>C5,"Yes","No")`

- After entering the formula, here is the result. In our dataset, the date in
**Cell B5**is not greater than the date in**Cell C5**so the output is**No**.

**Conclusion**

There are many more ways to compare two Excel cells, but in this article, we tried to discuss easier methods. All these methods are easy to understand and take less time. If you have any questions regarding this article, please let us know.

In “10. Compare Two Cells with Greater Than or Less Than Criteria”, I would like to determine the actual numerical difference between the two cells and the percentage of that difference to one of the cells. Eg., if one cell is 2 and the other cell is 10 … the difference is 8, which is 80% less than 10 (10 would be the mean of my interested dataset). How to I go about writing the formula?

Thank you.

J

Hi J,

Hope you are doing well.

You can get the actual numerical difference between two cells by using

subtraction (-)in the formula. In case of, percentage value use the formula given below.`=IF(AND(0<D5,D5<$D$10),(D5/$D$10)*100&"% Less Than 10",(-D5/$D$10)*100&"% Greater Than 10")`

If the condition is

Truethen the formula will return the result as follows.On the other hand, if the condition is

Falsethen the formula will return the result as follows.Here, the

ANDfunction will return True if both the conditions are true else it will return False.Thanks.

Regards,

Arin Islam