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How to compare two columns and list differences in Excel?

doc compare and list unique 1

Let’s say, you have two lists of student’s names in Column A and Column B of your worksheet, and some of them are both in the two columns, but now, you just want to compare these two columns and list the different names from them as left screenshot shown:

Compare two columns and list differences with formulas

Compare two columns and list differences with Kutools for Excel


Compare two columns and list the different values:

With Kutools for Excel's Select Same & Different Cells feature, you can quickly compare two columns to find and select all the different values from one list, and then copy and paste the unique values to any other cells. Click to download and free trial Kutools for Excel now!

doc compare and list unique 15

Kutools for Excel: with more than 200 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days. Download and free trial Now!



To list only the unique values from the two lists separately, you can apply the following formulas:

1. Please enter this formula into cell D2: =IF((ISERROR(MATCH(A2,$B$2:$B$14,0))),A2,""), (A2 is the first cell within the Column A that you want to compare with Column B, and range $B$2:$B$14 indicates another column that you want to be compared with) and then press Enter key, see screenshot:

doc compare and list unique 2

2. Then drag the fill handle down to the cells that you want to apply this formula, and all the unique names which are only in Column A have been listed at once, see screenshot:

doc compare and list unique 3

3. And then go on enter this formula: =IF((ISERROR(MATCH(B2,$A$2:$A$15,0))),B2,"") into cell E2, and press Enter key, see screenshot:

doc compare and list unique 4

4. Then select the cell E2, and drag the fill handle over to the cells that you want to contain this formula, and then all names only in Column B have been extracted as follows:

doc compare and list unique 5

Now all the unique names in both columns are list.


If you are not interested in the formulas, here, I can recommend you a useful tool-Kutools for Excel, with its Select Same & Different Cells utility, you can quickly find, shade or select the duplicates or unique values from two ranges.

Kutools for Excel : with more than 300 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days. 

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as follows:

1. Click Kutools > Select > Select Same & Different Cells, see screenshot:

doc compare and list unique 6

2. In the Select Same & Different Cells dialog box, do the following operations:

A: Click doc compare and list unique 8 button under the Find values in: (Range A) section to select the names in Column A that you want to extract the different names, and click doc compare and list unique 8 button under the According to: (Range B) section to select the names in Column B that you want to be compared;

B: Select Each row under the Based on section;

C: Then choose Different Values from the Find section;

D: If you want to shade the different names, you can check the Fill backcolor or Fill forecolor under the Processing of results.

doc compare and list unique 7 7

3. Then click OK button, all the names only in Column A have been selected, then you can copy and paste them into any other cells you need, see screenshots:

doc compare and list unique 9  2 doc compare and list unique 10

4. To list the names only in Column B, you just need to exchange the Find values in cells and According to cells in the dialog box, see screenshot:

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5. And all the different names only in Column B have been selected, then copy and paste them into any other cells you need, see screenshots:

doc compare and list unique 13  2 doc compare and list unique 14

Click to know more details about this Compare Ranges feature.

Download and free trial Kutools for Excel Now !


Kutools for Excel: with more than 200 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days. Download and free trial Now!


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    alongkorn · 3 months ago
    Excel formula=>
    If column A1 = (R10, R11, R12, R13, R14, R15,
    R16, R17) And column B1 = (R10, R11, R19, R13, R14, R18,
    R20, R17) Want the column C1 to find the difference
    Will get column C1 = (R12, R19, R15, R16, R18,R20)
    How to use the formula? } Please see the sample picture.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Guest · 1 years ago
    Works great. Thanks!
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    guest · 1 years ago
    Thank you. It was exactly what I was looking for
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    JITENDRA · 2 years ago
    SIR I WANT TO REDUCE TWO COLUMN NAMESFROM ONE COLUMN