# Compare two columns in different worksheets

This article describes an array formula that compares values from two different columns in two worksheets twice and returns a value if criteria are met.

### What's on this page

- Compare two columns in different worksheets
- Compare two columns in different worksheets (Excel 2016)
- Get Excel file
- Compare two columns and return differences
- Compare two columns and return differences sorted from A to Z
- Compare two columns and return differences - Excel 365
- Compare two columns and return differences sorted from A to Z - Excel 365

There are multiple columns in two different worksheets, one has more columns than another. I need to compare column F of worksheet 1 and column E of worksheet 2; if the value matches, compare column G of worksheet 1 and column F of worksheet 2; if the value matches, record the value in column N of worksheet1 from column M of worksheet 2. Please see the example below.

Worksheet 1:

Column F Column G Column N

Item Code Item Sub-Code Bank Fee

1 0

2 0

4 0

8 0

28 0

Worksheet2:

Column E Column F Column M

Item Code Item Sub-Code Bank Fee

1 0 60

2 0 165

4 0 60

8 0 250

8 2 33

28 0 15

28 1 16.5

Appreciate your help in advance!

Array formula in cell N2, worksheet 1:

### 1.1 How to enter an array formula

- Copy and paste the formula above to cell N2.
- Press and hold CTRL + SHIFT simultaneously.
- Press Enter once.
- Release all keys.

The formula is now surrounded by curly brackets, like this {=formula} if you did it right. Check your formula bar and make sure you have the curly brackets.

Then copy cell N2Â and paste to cells below.

### 1.2 Explaining array formula in cell N2

#### Step 1 - Compare cell F2 (sheet1) with column F (sheet2)

The equal sign is a logical operator that allows you to compare values. It also allows you to compare a value to multiple values, this returns an array of values.

F2=Sheet2!$F$2:$F$8 returns {TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; ...;Â FALSE}

TRUE and FALSE are boolean values.

#### Step 2Â - Compare cell G2 (sheet1) with column GÂ (sheet2)

G2=Sheet2!$G$2:$G$8 returns {TRUE; TRUE; TRUE; ... ; FALSE}

#### Step 3Â -Â Multiply arrays

This step multiples both arrays to apply AND-logic meaning both boolean values must be TRUE in order to return TRUE. See all possible combinations below.

TRUE * TRUE = TRUE (1)

TRUE * FALSE = FALSE (0)

FALSE * TRUE = FALSE (0)

FALSE * FALSE = FALSE (0)

(F2=Sheet2!$F$2:$F$8)*(Sheet1!G2=Sheet2!$G$2:$G$8) returns {1; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0; 0}.

The calculation returns the numerical equivalent to the boolean values, TRUE returns 1, and FALSE returns 0 (zero).

#### Step 4Â -Â Use IF function to replace calculated values with sheet2 values from column N, if TRUE (1)

The IF function returns one value if the logical test is TRUE and another value if the logical test is FALSE.

IF(*logical_test*, [*value_if_true*], [*value_if_false*])

IF((F2=Sheet2!$F$2:$F$8)*(Sheet1!G2=Sheet2!$G$2:$G$8), Sheet2!$N$2:$N$8, "") returns {60; ""; ""; ""; ""; ""; ""}.

#### Step 5 - Calculate the smallest number in the array

The MIN function returns the smallest number in an array or cell range, it ignores logical and text values

MIN(IF((F2=Sheet2!$F$2:$F$8)*(Sheet1!G2=Sheet2!$G$2:$G$8), Sheet2!$N$2:$N$8, ""))

becomes MIN({60;"";"";"";"";"";""}) and returnsÂ 60.

## 2. Compare two columns in different worksheets (Excel 2016)

Excel 2016 formula in cell N2:

### Explaining formula in cell N2

#### Step 1 - Setup MINIFS function

The MINIFS function calculates the smallest value based on a given set of criteria.

MINIFS(*min_range*,Â *criteria_range1*,Â *criteria1*, [*criteria_range2*,Â *criteria2*], ...)

MINIFS(Sheet2!$N$2:$N$8, Sheet2!$F$2:$F$8, F2, Sheet2!$G$2:$G$8, G2)

#### Step 2 - Evaluate MINIFS function

MINIFS(Sheet2!$N$2:$N$8, Sheet2!$F$2:$F$8, F2, Sheet2!$G$2:$G$8, G2)

becomes MINIFS({60;165;60;250;33;15;16.5},{**1**;2;4;8;8;28;28},**1**,{**0**;**0**;**0**;**0**;2;**0**;1},**0**)

and returns 60. The only relative position that meets both criteria is the first one, it contains number 60.

This section demonstrates formulas that extract differences between two given lists. The first formula in cell B11 extracts values from List 1 that doesn't exist in List 2. The second formula in cell B15 extracts values from List 2 that is not in List 1.

## 4. Compare two columns and return differences

The image above demonstrates an array formula in cell B11 that extracts values that only exist in List 1 (B3:B7) and not in List 2 (D3:D8). The same formula is used in cell B15, however, with different cell references. This time it extracts values that only exist in List 2 (D3:D8).

Array Formula in B11:

To enter an array formula press and hold CTRL + SHIFT simultaneously, then press Enter once. Release all keys.

The formula bar now shows the formula enclosed with curly brackets telling you that you entered the formula successfully. Don't enter the curly brackets yourself.

Copy cell D2 and paste it down as far as needed.

Array Formula in B15:

Copy cell D9 and paste it down as far as needed.

### Explaining formula in cell B11

#### Step 1 - Count values in List 1 based on values in List 1

TheÂ COUNTIF functionÂ counts values based on a condition or criteria.

COUNTIF($D$3:$D$8, $B$3:$B$7)=0 returnsÂ {FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; TRUE}

#### Step 2 - Replace TRUE with corresponding row number

TheÂ IF functionÂ has three arguments, the first one must be a logical expression. If the expression evaluates to TRUE then one thing happens (argument 2) and if FALSE another thing happens (argument 3).

IF(COUNTIF($D$3:$D$8, $B$3:$B$7)=0, MATCH(ROW($B$3:$B$7), ROW($B$3:$B$7)), "") returns {""; 2; ""; ""; 5}

#### Step 3 - Extract k-th smallest row number

To be able to return a new value in a cell each I use theÂ SMALL functionÂ to filter row numbers from smallest to largest.

TheÂ ROWS functionÂ keeps track of the numbers based on an expanding cell reference. It will expand automatically when the cell is copied to the cells below.

SMALL(IF(COUNTIF($B$3:$B$7, $D$3:$D$8)=0, MATCH(ROW($D$3:$D$8), ROW($D$3:$D$8)),""), ROWS($A$1:A1)) returns 2.

#### Step 4 - Get value

TheÂ INDEX functionÂ returns a value based on a cell reference and a row number (also a column number if needed).

INDEX($D$3:$D$8, SMALL(IF(COUNTIF($B$3:$B$7, $D$3:$D$8)=0, MATCH(ROW($D$3:$D$8), ROW($D$3:$D$8)),""), ROWS($A$1:A1))) returns "E" in cell B11.

## 5. Compare two columns and return differences sorted from A to Z

Array Formula in B11:

Array Formula in B15:

## 6. Compare two columns and return differences - Excel 365

The formula in cell B11 works only in Excel 365, it contains the new FILTER function. It filters values in list 1 that only exists in list 1 compared to list 2.

Excel 365 dynamic array formula in cell B11:

The formula in cell B15 filters values in list 2 that only exists in list 2 compared to list 1.

Excel 365 dynamic array formula in cell B15:

### 6.1 Explaining formula in cell B11

#### Step 1 - Count values in D3:D8 based on criteria in B3:B7

The COUNTIF function

Function syntax:

COUNTIF(D3:D8, B3:B7) returns {1; 0; 1; 1; 0}

#### Step 2 - Check if a value in the array is equal to 0 (zero)

The equal sign lets you compare value to value, the result is a boolean value TRUE or FALSE.

COUNTIF(D3:D8, B3:B7)=0 returns {FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; TRUE}.

#### Step 3 - Filter values not in both lists

The FILTER function

Function syntax:

FILTER(B3:B7, COUNTIF(D3:D8, B3:B7)=0) returns {"E"; "F"}.

### 6.2 Explaining formula in cell B15

#### Step 1 - Count values in B3:B7 based on criteria inÂ D3:D8

The COUNTIF function

Function syntax:

COUNTIF(B3:B7, D3:D8) returns {1; 1; 0; 1; 0; 0}

#### Step 2 - Check if a value in the array is equal to 0 (zero)

The equal sign lets you compare value to value, the result is a boolean value TRUE or FALSE.

COUNTIF(B3:B7, D3:D8)=0 returns {FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; TRUE; TRUE}.

#### Step 3 - Filter values not in both lists

The FILTER function

Function syntax:

FILTER(D3:D8, COUNTIF(B3:B7, D3:D8)=0) returns {"G"; "I"; "C"}.

## 7. Compare two columns and return differences sorted from A to Z - Excel 365

Excel 365 dynamic array formula in cell B11:

Excel 365 dynamic array formula in cell B15:

### 7.1 Explaining formula in cell B11

#### Step 1 - Count values in D3:D8 based on criteria in B3:B7

The COUNTIF function

Function syntax:

COUNTIF(D3:D8, B3:B7) returns {1; 0; 1; 1; 0}

#### Step 2 - Check if a value in the array is equal to 0 (zero)

The equal sign lets you compare value to value, the result is a boolean value TRUE or FALSE.

COUNTIF(D3:D8, B3:B7)=0 returns {FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; FALSE; TRUE}.

#### Step 3 - Filter values not in both lists

The FILTER function

Function syntax:

FILTER(B3:B7, COUNTIF(D3:D8, B3:B7)=0) returns {"E"; "F"}.

#### Step 4 - Sort values from A to Z

The SORT function

Function syntax:

SORT(FILTER(B3:B7, COUNTIF(D3:D8, B3:B7)=0)) returns {"E"; "F"}.

### 7.2 Explaining formula in cell B15

#### Step 1 - Count values in B3:B7 based on criteria inÂ D3:D8

The COUNTIF function

Function syntax:

COUNTIF(B3:B7, D3:D8) returns {1; 1; 0; 1; 0; 0}

#### Step 2 - Check if a value in the array is equal to 0 (zero)

The equal sign lets you compare value to value, the result is a boolean value TRUE or FALSE.

COUNTIF(B3:B7, D3:D8)=0 returns {FALSE; FALSE; TRUE; FALSE; TRUE; TRUE}.

#### Step 3 - Filter values not in both lists

The FILTER function

Function syntax:

FILTER(D3:D8, COUNTIF(B3:B7, D3:D8)=0) returns {"G"; "I"; "C"}.

#### Step 4 - Sort values from A to Z

The SORT function

Function syntax:

SORT(FILTER(D3:D8, COUNTIF(B3:B7, D3:D8)=0)) returns {"C", "G"; "I"}.

### Compare category

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I recently came across a great online tool https://datadiffer.com/ that's perfect for comparing two columns in Excel. Just save the data as txt files and upload them, and you can quickly see what's unique to each file and what's common. It's super easy to use and you can even download the comparison results. It's incredibly handy for anyone who needs to do data analysis!