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How to check or find if a value is in a list in Excel?

If there is a long list with hundreds of names in a worksheet, and now you want to check or find if a name such as “Lily” is in this name list, how can you quickly check it without scrolling down one by one? Here I introduce the tricks to quickly get it done in Excel.

Find if a value is in a list with Find and Replace function

Find if a value is in a list with formula

Find if a value is in a list with Kutools for Excel good idea3


Select Specific Cells (select cells/row/columns based on one ore two criteria.)

doc select specific cells
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arrow blue right bubble Find if a value is in a list with Find and Replace function


Select the whole column of the name list, and then press Ctrl + F keys simultaneously to display the Find and Replace dialog, then under Find tab, enter the name or value you want to find and check into the Find what textbox, and then click Find All to list the finding results. See screenshot:
doc check if value is in list 1

If there are values matched, it will list the match values in the list below, see screenshot:
doc check if value is in list 2

But if there is not a value matched, it will pop out a dialog to remind you. See screenshot:
doc check if value is in list 3


arrow blue right bubble Find if a value is in a list with formula

Besides the Find and Replace function, you can use a formula to check if a value is in a list.

Select a blank cell, here is C2, and type this formula =IF(ISNUMBER(MATCH(B2,A:A,0)),1,0) into it, and press Enter key to get the result, and if it displays 1, indicates the value is in the list, and if 0, that is not exist.

doc check if value is in list 4
doc check if value is in list 5

Tip:

1. You can use this formula =COUNTIF(A:A,B2)>0 to handle it too, and it displays TRUE means the value you check is in the list, or not.

2. In above formulas, A:A is the column list you check value in, and B2 is the value you want to find if is in the list.


arrow blue right bubble Find if a value is in a list with Kutools for Excel

If you have Kutools for Excel, with the Select Specific Cells utility, you can quickly check if a value is in a list, and at the same time, it locates the value.

Kutools for Excel, with more than 120 handy Excel functions, enhance your working efficiency and save your working time.

After free installing Kutools for Excel, please do as below:

1. Select the list you want to check the certain value from, and click Kutools > Select > Select Specific Cells. See screenshot:
doc check if value is in list 6

2. In the Select Specific Cells dialog, select Equals from the first drop down list in Specific type section, and then enter the value you want to check and locate into the next textbox. See screenshot:
doc check if value is in list 7

3. Click Ok, and a dialog pops out to tell you the number of matched cells. And click OK, you can see the value you check has been selected. See screenshot:
doc check if value is in list 8

Tip: If the value you check is not in the list, after clicking Ok, a dialog pops out to tell you there is not a value math. See screenshot:
doc check if value is in list 9

Click here to know more about Select Specific Cells.

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  • How to find most common number or text in a list in Excel?
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    PJ Smith · 5 months ago
    is it possible to have another value appear as opposed to 0,1,-1 or True? I'd love to provide custom text instead. So if a name is in a list, show this value ... if not, show a different value.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Tim T · 3 months ago
      See the bit written above: "Select a blank cell, here is C2, and type this formula =IF(ISNUMBER(MATCH(B2,A:A,0)),1,0) into it, and press Enter key to get the result, and if it displays 1, indicates the value is in the list, and if 0, that is not exist."


      Replace the 1 with what you want to display if the value is in the list, the 0 with what you want to display if it isn't. You can have it return text (make sure to put it in "QUOTES"), any number, or even the contents of a cell, but if you want the output to change depending on what you put into it (eg. "LILY" returns one thing, "JOHN" returns another, and "BAILEY" returns something else again), you most likely want the VLOOKUP (or similar HLOOKUP) function.