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How to compare two columns for (highlighting) missing values in Excel?

Author: Kelly Last Modified: 2020-04-27

For example I have two fruit lists in two worksheets as below screenshots shown, and now I need to compare these two lists and find out missing values in each list. It may be not easy to solve it manually. In this article, I will introduce two tricky ways to solve it easily.


Compare two columns for (highlighting) missing values with formulas

This method will take an example to find out missing values of Fruit List 1, and highlight/color these missing values in Fruit List 2. The following are detailed steps:

1. Select the first blank cell besides Fruit List 2, type Missing in Fruit List 1 as column header, next enter the formula =IF(ISERROR(VLOOKUP(A2,'Fruit List 1'!$A$2:$A$22,1,FALSE)),A2,"") into the second blank cell, and drag the Fill Handle to the range as you need. See below screenshot:

Notes:
(1) In above formula, A2 is the value in Fruit List 2, 'Fruit List 1'!$A$2:$A$22 is the range whose missing values you are looking for.
(2) This formula ignores case sensitivity.

Then you will see missing values of Fruit List 1 is listing in the new Column as below screenshot shown:

2. Select the found values in the Fruit List 2, and highlight them with clicking the Home > Fill Color and selecting a fill color from drop down list.

3. You can apply similar formula =IF(ISERROR(VLOOKUP(A2,'Fruit List 2'!$A$2:$A$22,1,FALSE)),A2,"") (A2 is the fruit in Fruit List 1, and 'Fruit List 2'!$A$2:$A$22 is the range whose missing values you are looking for) to find out missing values in Fruit List 2 (see below screenshots), and then highlight these missing values in Fruit List 1 manually.

Compare two columns and select/highlight same values in Excel

With Kutools for Excel's Select Same & Different Cells feature, you can easily compare two columns of values, and then select the entire rows based on the same values or different values as below screenshot shown. And it will be easily to delete these rows after selecting in Excel.


ad select entire rows by multiple values

Compare two columns for (highlighting) missing values with Kutools for Excel

The long complicated formula may make you confused. In this method, I will introduce Kutools for Excel for you. Its Select Same & Different Cells utility can help you compare two lists and highlight unique values (missing values) quite easily in Excel.

Kutools for Excel - Supercharge Excel with over 300 essential tools. Enjoy a full-featured 30-day FREE trial with no credit card required! Get It Now

1. Click the Kutools > Select > Select Same & Different Cells to open the Compare Ranges dialog box.
doc select same different cells 1

2. In the Compare Ranges dialog box, you need to:
doc select same different cells 3124
(1) In the Find Values in box, specify the range of Fruit List 1 without the list header;
(2) In the According to box, specify the range of Fruit List 2 without the list header;
(3) In the Find section, please check the Different Values option;
(4) In the Processing of results section, please check the Fill backcolor option, and select a fill color from the below drop down list.

Note: Please uncheck the My data has headers option, because in our case two lists have different headers. If your lists have same headers, you can specify the ranges with list headers in both Find Values in box and According to box, and check the My data has headers option.

3. Click the Ok button. Another Compare Ranges comes out to show you how many values have been selected. Just click the OK button to close it.

Now you see all values which are missing in Fruit List 2 are highlighted by the specified fill color in Fruit List 1 as above screenshot shown.

4. You can apply this utility again to highlight all missing values of Fruit List 1 in the Fruit List 2.

Note: This utility is case- sensitive.

Kutools for Excel - Supercharge Excel with over 300 essential tools. Enjoy a full-featured 30-day FREE trial with no credit card required! Get It Now


Demo: compare two columns for (highlighting) missing values in Excel


Kutools for Excel: Over 300 handy tools at your fingertips! Start your 30-day free trial with no feature limitations today. Download Now!

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Comments (8)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi,
I have a large list of products. For each of the products I have several offers from suppliers. I brought them with vlookup in the same sheet. Is there a function that I can use that will tell me what the best purchase offer is? That is.. buy product P1 from supplier Alpha, product P2 buy it from supplier Beta. Thank you!
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Hi there,

Assume you have two columns: Column A contains suppliers' names, and Column B contains their prices. To find the name of the supplier with the lowest price, you can use this formula: =INDEX(A:A, MATCH(MIN(B:B), B:B, 0))
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Buna ziua,
Am trei coloane cu mai multe linii cu preturi unitare si as vrea sa vad care din preturi sunt cele mai mici si pentru care coloana.
Coloanele A B C
Linia l
Linia II
Linia III
Multumesc!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi there,

So you mean that there are nine numbers you want to compare and get the lowest one?
And the result you want is in a cell in another column and the exact lowest number?

Amanda
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I have 10 barcodes in colume A and same barcodes in column B but 9 barcode. Can i find out with same on excel, please help me out.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi Manjot Singh,
You can use this formula =COUNTIF($B$1:$B$9,A1)
Return 0 indicates the number in Cell A1 does not exist in Column B, while Return 1 or other numbers means the number in Cell A1 exists in Column B. See below screenshot:
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, I have two lists.one with meaning and code.In a column i will show meaning but when when we select meaning, code should be come
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I need a formula to compare two cells and get the not matching character in third cell. eg. cell 1 - 'Pen' & cell 2 - 'Pens' = cell 3 's'
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