# How To Check If Two Columns Are Equal In Excel

Comparing two columns for equality in Excel is a common task, whether you're reconciling data or verifying entries. Excel provides several methods to perform this check, such as conditional formatting, formulas like IF, and the EXACT function.

However, complexities arise with large datasets or when non-exact matches need to be identified. This guide will succinctly explain the necessary steps to check for column equality in Excel and also how the process can be more efficiently handled by using Sourcetable.

## Comparing Two Columns for Equality in Excel

### Basic Comparison with Excel Functions

To quickly check if two columns are equal, use the IF function in combination with AND, OR, and COUNTIF to verify data row by row. The formula =IF(A2=B2, "Match", "Difference") compares columns A and B, returning "Match" if equal and "Difference" if not. This method is straightforward and effective for simple comparisons.

### Conditional Formatting

Excel's Conditional Formatting feature can be employed to visually compare two columns. Highlight cells with identical data using rules that compare the cells in the columns. This allows you to quickly identify matches or differences.

### Specialized Functions

The INDEX MATCH function is a robust tool for comparing columns under specific conditions. For precise comparisons, use =INDEX(MATCH()) formulas that can include multiple criteria. Apply functions like TEXTSPLIT to divide and compare text cells.

### Advanced Comparisons with VBA

To achieve more complex tasks such as color-coding differences, use a VBA macro with a custom script. Macros allow in-depth data manipulation and comparison beyond standard Excel functions.

### Formulas to Identify Partial Matches

To find partial matches or check if a cell contains specific text from another cell, use formulas like =ISNUMBER(SEARCH(B1,A1)) or =ISNUMBER(SEARCH(TEXT(A1,"dd-mm-yy"),B1)). These are practical for identifying similar entries that are not exact matches.

### Exclude Duplicates in One Set

Complement conditional formatting with formulas such as =AND(COUNTIF(\$C\$2:\$C\$20, \$A2)>0, COUNTIF(\$A\$2:\$A2, \$A2)=1) to highlight unique duplicates, providing an efficient way to compare and validate data without repetition.

### Simplifying the Task with XLOOKUP

Embrace the newer XLOOKUP function for an easier approach compared to VLOOKUP. XLOOKUP can handle internal #N/A errors, providing a more streamlined formula without needing additional functions to manage errors.

### Dynamic Filters for Real-time Comparison

For active data sets, use the FILTER function to dynamically compare two columns, instantly returning matches or differences while eliminating empty strings, thus constantly updating results as data changes.

## Common Use Cases

• Use case 1: Verify the accuracy of data entry for two columns of information

• Use case 2: Identify discrepancies between two lists of serial numbers

• Use case 3: Confirm matching values in pre- and post-migration datasets

• Use case 4: Validate that two sets of calculations yield identical results

• Use case 5: Check consistency of duplicate records across different Excel sheets

## Excel vs. Sourcetable: Streamlined Data Integration and Management

Sourcetable, a modern alternative to traditional tools like Excel, offers innovative solutions for consolidating and managing data. Unlike Excel, which demands manual data integration, Sourcetable simplifies this process by automatically combining data from over 37 sources into one interface, allowing for seamless query operation without the need for coding.

At the core of Sourcetable's ease of use is its AI copilot, which vastly contrasts Excel's complex, manual approach. The AI copilot assists users across all skill levels with formula creation, templating, and more, facilitating data manipulation tasks directly through a conversational UI. This intuitive assistance from Sourcetable's AI copilot reinforces its position as a more accessible tool for high-level data management.

Emphasizing automation over manual expertise, Sourcetable's next-gen data integration capabilities not only save time but also reduce the learning curve associated with advanced data operations. Excel users transitioning to Sourcetable can expect a smarter, more integrated approach to data management, freeing them to focus on high-value job elements.

## Effortlessly Compare Columns with Sourcetable

Comparing columns in Excel can be vital for data accuracy, but the process can become complex. Sourcetable simplifies this task by leveraging AI, offering an intuitive solution for ensuring column data matches perfectly. Its real-time integration with third-party tools enhances this efficiency.

Sourcetable's AI capabilities take the heavy lifting out of spreadsheet automation and error checking, making it an essential tool for teams requiring quick and accurate data analysis. Say goodbye to manual formula entry and hello to seamless report generation and data queries.

For a streamlined approach to spreadsheet management, try Sourcetable and experience the future of data handling.