While doing different tasks in Excel we often come across a situation where the matching and **differences of two** or **multiple columns** are required. It’s not a difficult task to **compare two columns** or lists in excel but you may get confused as there are so many ways to do it. In this article, we will look for different techniques for matching and differentiating columns in Excel.

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**4 Methods to Compare Two Columns or Lists in Excel**

We have a dataset of two columns. That columns contain names of items from two showrooms of a super shop. We will compare the data of these two showrooms.

**1. Compare Two Columns Using Equal Operator**

Here, we will compare two columns row-wise using the equal sign. When the items are the same indicate **True **otherwise **False**.

**📌 ****Steps:**

- Add a new column on the right side to show the matching status.

- Put the following formula on
**Cell D5**.

`=B5=C5`

- Now, press
**Enter**and drag the**Fill Handle**icon.

We can see **True **appears for match cases otherwise, **False**.

**Read More:** **How to Compare Two Columns and Return Common Values in Excel**

**2. Use Row Differences Command of Go To Special Tool to Compare Two Lists in Excel**

In this method, we will use the **Row differences** technique. It compares those columns row-wise and selects the cells of the second column automatically.

**📌 ****Steps:**

- Select the whole dataset of
**Range B5:C9**. - Then, press the
**F5**button.

- The
**Go To**dialog box appears. Click on the**Special**option.

- Now, select the
**Row differences**option from the**Go To Special**window. - Finally, press
**OK**.

- We can see two cells of the second column are selected.
- We change the color of the cells from the
**Fill Color**option.

- Look at the dataset now.

Cells of the second column with mismatched data are visible now.

**Read More: ****Excel Compare Two Lists and Return Differences (4 Ways)**

**3. Use Excel Functions to Compare Two Columns or Lists in Excel**

**3.1 Using IF Function**

Here, we will use the **IF** function. It will compare the cells of the columns row-wise and checks whether they are the same or not.

**IF function**checks whether a condition is met, and returns one value if

**TRUE, and**another value if

**FALSE**.

**📌 ****Steps:**

- We put a formula based on the
**IF**function on**Cell D5**.

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

This formula will check whether the cells are the same or not. If same then, show **Match **otherwise, **Mismatch**.

- Now, drag the
**Fill Handle**icon downwards.

You could use the following formula to compare for not matching values.

`=IF(B5<>C5,"Mismatch","Match")`

In this case, when the condition is **True **shows **Mismatch**, otherwise **Match**.

**Read More: ****Excel Formula to Compare and Return Value from Two Columns**

**3.2 Applying EXACT Function**

When we have the same data in two columns with case differences, we will use the **EXACT **function.

**EXACT function**checks whether two text strings are exactly the same, and returns

**TRUE or FALSE. EXACT**is

**case-sensitive**.

In **Row 6,** we have the same data from different cases. Now, apply the **EXACT **function to see whether it can detect the case difference or not.

**📌 ****Steps:**

- Insert the formula below on
**Cell D5**.

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

Here, the **IF **function is used to show the comment based on the decision taken by the **EXACT **function.

- Pull the
**Fill Handle**icon.

We get the result. Due to case difference **Mismatch **is showing at **Cell D6**.

#### 3.3 Using MATCH Function

In this method, we will compare the **1st **column with the **2nd **column. When the matching of the **1st **column is found on the **2nd **column result will be **TRUE**.

Here, we will use the **MATCH **function with **ISERROR **and **IF **functions.

**MATCH function**returns the relative position of an item in an array that matches a specified value with a specified order.

**📌 ****Steps:**

- Put the following formula on
**Cell D5**.

`=IF(ISERROR(MATCH($B5,$C$5:$C$10,0)),"No match","Match found")`

When the statement is true result will be **Match found** otherwise **No match**.

- Press
**Enter**to execute the formula.

We got the result based on the **1st **column. We are looking for a match in the **2nd **column.

**Read More:** **How to Compare Two Columns in Excel for Match (8 ways)**

**4. Compare Two Columns and Highlight Using Conditional Formatting**

In this section, we will use conditional formatting to compare two columns and highlight them according to conditions.

**4.1 Highlight Equal Values in Two Columns**

**📌 ****Steps:**

- Select the dataset first.
- Go to the
**Conditional Formatting**option from the**Home**tab. - Choose
**New Rule**from the appeared dropdown.

- The
**New Formatting Rule**window appears. - Select
**Use a formula to determine which cells to format**as the rule type. - Put the following formula on the marked box.

`=$B5=$C5`

- Choose the
**Fill**tab from the**Format Cells**window. - Choose the desired color.
- Press the
**OK**button.

- We see the
**Preview**here. - Finally, press
**OK**.

- Look at the dataset.

Cells with the same data are the highlight.

**Read More:** **Macro to Compare Two Columns in Excel and Highlight Differences**

**4.2 Highlight Unique and Duplicate Cells**

In this section, we will highlight the unique and duplicate data cells with different colors.

**📌 ****Steps:**

- Enter the
**New Rule**option as shown previously.

- Select
**Format only unique or duplicate values**rule type. - Choose the
**duplicate**option.

- Then, set the format color and press
**OK**.

Duplicate cells are highlighted.

- Again, follow the previous process and choose the
**unique**option.

- Have a final look at the dataset.

Duplicate and unique data care are highlighted differently.

**Read More:** **Compare Two Columns in Excel and Highlight the Greater Value (4 Ways)**

**Similar Readings**

**How to Compare Multiple Columns Using VLOOKUP in Excel (5 Methods)****Excel Compare Text in Two Columns (7 Fruitful Ways)****How to Compare 4 Columns in Excel VLOOKUP (Easiest 7 Ways)****Compare Three Columns in Excel and Return a Value(4 Ways)****How to Compare 3 Columns for Matches in Excel (4 Methods)**

**Compare Two Columns in Excel and Count Matches**

In this function, we will use the combination of the **SUMPRODUCT**, and **COUNTIF **functions to count the matches. After that, we will calculate the number of total rows using the **ROWS function** and subtract the matches to get the number of mismatches.

**SUMPRODUCT function**returns the sum of products of corresponding ranges or arrays.

**📌 ****Steps:**

- First, we add two rows. One for the match and another for the mismatch.

- Now, insert the following formula based on the
**SUMPRODUCT**and**COUNTIF**function on**Cell C11**.

`=SUMPRODUCT(COUNTIF(B5:B9,C5:C9))`

- Press the
**Enter**button to get the result.

We get the number of matched rows.

- Now, go to
**Cell C12**and put the below formula.

`=ROWS(B5:C9)-C11`

- Again, press the
**Enter**button to get the number of mismatches.

**Read More:** **How to Count Matches in Two Columns in Excel (5 Easy Ways)**

**Compare Two Columns in Excel and Remove Duplicates**

In this method, we will show how to remove the duplicates after comparing two columns.

**📌 ****Steps:**

- Select the dataset first.
- Go to the
**Conditional Formatting**section. - Choose
**Duplicate Values**from the**Highlight Cells Rules**.

- Choose a color to indicate the duplicates.

- We can see the color of cells containing duplicate data has been changed.
- Now, press
**Ctrl + Shift+ L**to enable filter option.

- Click on the down arrow of the
**2nd**column. - Choose the color of the duplicate cells from the
**Filter by color**section.

- Only duplicate values are showing now. Select that range.
- Press the right button of the mouse.
- Choose the
**Clear Contents**option from the**Context Menu**.

- Duplicate values are removed from the dataset.

- Again, go to the filter section and check the
**Select All**option.

- No duplicates are showing now.

**Excel Match Two Columns and Extract Output from a Third with VLOOKUP**

Here, we have two datasets. **1st **one is of **Showroom 1** and **2nd **is of **Showroom 2**. We will compare item columns of each dataset and extract the price from **Showroom 1** to **Showroom 2** using the **VLOOKUP function**.

**📌 ****Steps:**

- Apply the formula based on the
**VLOOKUP**function on**Cell F5**.

`=VLOOKUP($E5,$B$5:$C$10,2,FALSE)`

- After comparing
**Item (S1)**with**Item (S2)**, we extract the price in the**2nd**table.

**Read More:** **Match Two Columns and Output a Third in Excel (3 Quick Methods)**

**How to Compare More Than Two Columns in Excel**

In the previous sections, we have shown a comparison between two columns. When we have more than two columns, we can use the below methods.

**1. Use Excel AND Function**

In this method, after checking all the conditions, the result will be shown based on the comment used in the **IF **function. Before applying the formula, we add another column named **Showroom 3**.

**📌 ****Steps:**

- Now, put the formula on
**Cell E5**.

`=IF(AND(B5=C5,C5=D5),"Match","Mismatch")`

- After that, pull the
**Fill Handle**icon.

Finally, we get the status.

**Read More:** **How to Compare Two Columns in Excel for Missing Values (4 ways)**

**2. Compare with Excel COUNTIF Function**

The **COUNTIF function** counts the number of cells within a range that meet the given condition, and the **COUNTA function** counts the number of cells in a range that are not empty.[/wpsm_box]

Here, we will use these functions to compare multiple columns.

**📌 ****Steps:**

- Copy the following formula on
**Cell E5**.

`IF(COUNTIF(B5:D5,B5)=COUNTA(B5:D5),"Match","Mismatch")`

- Drag the
**Fill Handle**icon.

Finally, we get the comparison result.

**Read More: ****How to Compare 4 Columns in Excel (6 Methods)**

**Conclusion**

In this article, we described how to compare two columns or lists in Excel. We compared the columns row-wise and column-wise in both ways. I hope this will satisfy your needs. Please have a look at our website **ExcelDemy.com** and give your suggestions in the comment box.

Very informative and well described.

Thanks, Farhana for the feedback.

Excellent! Thanks for this useful information.

Thanks. Glad to know that you found it useful.