Compare Two Columns in Excel Using VLOOKUP Tips and Tricks – projectcubicle

Compare Two Columns in Excel Using VLOOKUP

At some point in your work with Excel, you might find yourself needing to compare two columns of data. Whether you’re looking for matching values, or trying to identify differences, Excel has a powerful function called VLOOKUP that can help you do just that. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the process of using VLOOKUP to compare two Excel data columns. We’ll cover everything from setting up your worksheet, to using VLOOKUP to compare the data, and even show you some tips and tricks for making the process faster and more efficient.



Setting up your worksheet

Before we get started with VLOOKUP, it’s important to make sure your worksheet is set up correctly. First, make sure that both columns of data are in the same worksheet or workbook. Then, ensure that the columns have unique headers that clearly identify the data they contain.

Next, select the range of cells that contain your data, including the headers. You can do this by clicking and dragging your mouse over the range, or by using the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+A” to select the entire worksheet.

Using VLOOKUP to compare the data

Once your worksheet is set up correctly, it’s time to use VLOOKUP to compare the data. The VLOOKUP function searches for a value in the first column of a table and returns a value in the same row from another column in the table.

To use VLOOKUP, you’ll need to specify the value you’re searching for, the range of cells that contains the data you’re searching through, the column number of the data you want to return, and whether you want an exact match or an approximate match.

Here’s an example of how to use VLOOKUP to compare two columns of data:

  1. In a new column, enter the VLOOKUP formula. The formula should start with “=VLOOKUP(“.
  2. Specify the value you’re searching for. In this case, we’ll use the first cell in the column we want to compare to the other column. For example, “=VLOOKUP(A2,”.
  3. Specify the range of cells that contains the data you’re searching through. This should be the range of cells that contains the data in the other column you want to compare to. For example, “=VLOOKUP(A2,B:C,”.
  4. Specify the column number of the data you want to return. In this case, we want to return the value in the second column, so we’ll use “2”. For example, “=VLOOKUP(A2,B:C,2,”.
  5. Finally, specify whether you want an exact match or an approximate match. In this case, we’ll use an exact match by typing “FALSE”. For example, “=VLOOKUP(A2,B:C,2,FALSE)”.

After entering the formula, you can drag it down to compare all the cells in the first column to those in the second column. The result will show you whether there is a match or not.

Compare Two Columns in Excel Using VLOOKUP Tips and Tricks

Conclusion

To compare two columns in Excel using VLOOKUP, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Excel worksheet and select the cell where you want to display the comparison results.
  2. Click on the “Formulas” tab in the Excel ribbon menu.
  3. Click on “Lookup & Reference” in the ribbon menu.
  4. Select “VLOOKUP” from the dropdown menu.
  5. In the “Lookup_value” field, select the first cell of the column you want to compare (e.g., A2).
  6. In the “Table_array” field, select the range of cells that contains the second column you want to compare (e.g., B2:B10).
  7. In the “Col_index_num” field, enter “1” since you want to return a value from the first column of the table.
  8. In the “Range_lookup” field, enter “FALSE” to ensure an exact match is found.
  9. Press “Enter” on your keyboard to perform the VLOOKUP function.
  10. Copy the formula down to the remaining cells in the result column to compare all values.



The results in the result column will show “N/A” for any values in the first column that do not match any values in the second column, and will show the matching value from the second column for any values in the first column that do have a match.

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