How to Compare Two Columns in Excel 2007

Written by jason stewart
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How to Compare Two Columns in Excel 2007
Compare data in two columns with Excel (number background image by kuhar from

Microsoft Office Excel is one of the premier spreadsheet programs available for general use. Excel is easy to install and equally easy to get started on data analysis. Often, users will need to compare columns with one another to help find duplicate items or other data of interest. Luckily, comparing data is not a daunting task when you use a worksheet formula within Excel.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • PC
  • Microsoft Office Excel

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  1. 1

    Activate Excel and open a new worksheet. Set up three different columns entitled "A," "B" and "C". Allow for five data entries within each column so that you are working with a 3x5 grid.

  2. 2

    Enter the data for the two known columns in "A" and "C". Leave column "B" blank for the time being, and make sure not to enter zeros in the "B" column. Column "B" needs to remain blank because this is where the formula will be entered and function.

  3. 3

    Select the first cell in column "B" and enter the following formula therein; =IF(ISERROR(MATCH(A1,$C$1:$C$5,0)),"",A1)

  4. 4

    Navigate to "Fill" from the "Edit" menu and click "Down". The duplicate data will appear in column "B." Rinse and repeat as needed with new data sets.

Tips and warnings

  • The formula listed in the resource section is precoded for a 3x5 worksheet. Change the values in the formula to match the listings in your particular grouping.

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