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How to compare two columns and highlight the unmatched data in Excel?

As below screenshot shown, for comparing two columns of adjacent cells and highlighting the unmatched data, you can try the methods in the article.

Compare two columns and highlight the unmatched data with VBA code

Compare two columns and highlight the unmatched data with Kutools for Excel


Easily compare two columns and highlight the unmatched data:

The Compare Ranges utility of Kutools for Excel can help you solve the problem. See below screenshot:

  • Select the the two columns you will compare for unmatched data highlighting.
  • Select Different Value option.
  • Specify a background color for highlighting.

Kutools for Excel includes more than 300 handy Excel tools. Free to try with no limitation in 60 days. Download the free trial now


arrow blue right bubble Compare two columns and highlight the unmatched data with VBA code


As the above screenshot, you are comparing the data in Column A and Column B. Please run the following VBA code to highlight the unmatched data.

1. Press Alt + F11 keys simultaneously to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. In the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window, click Insert > Module. Then copy and paste the following code into the Code window.

VBA code: Compare two columns and highlight the unmatched data

Sub Dyeware()
    Dim xRg1 As Range
    Dim xRg2 As Range
    Dim xTxt As String
    Dim xCell1 As Range
    Dim xCell2 As Range
    Dim I As Long
    Dim J As Integer
    Dim xLen As Integer
    Dim xDiffs As Boolean
    On Error Resume Next
    If ActiveWindow.RangeSelection.Count > 1 Then
      xTxt = ActiveWindow.RangeSelection.AddressLocal
    Else
      xTxt = ActiveSheet.UsedRange.AddressLocal
    End If
lOne:
    Set xRg1 = Application.InputBox("Range A:", "Kutools for Excel", xTxt, , , , , 8)
    If xRg1 Is Nothing Then Exit Sub
    If xRg1.Columns.Count > 1 Or xRg1.Areas.Count > 1 Then
        MsgBox " Multiple ranges or columns have been selected ", vbInformation, "Kutools for Excel"
        GoTo lOne
    End If
lTwo:
    Set xRg2 = Application.InputBox("Range B:", "Kutools for Excel", "", , , , , 8)
    If xRg2 Is Nothing Then Exit Sub
    If xRg2.Columns.Count > 1 Or xRg2.Areas.Count > 1 Then
        MsgBox "Multiple ranges or columns have been selected", vbInformation, "Kutools for Excel"
        GoTo lTwo
    End If
    If xRg1.CountLarge <> xRg2.CountLarge Then
       MsgBox "Two ranges must have the same numbers of cells ", vbInformation, "Kutools for Excel"
       GoTo lTwo
    End If
    xDiffs = (MsgBox("Click Yes to highlight matched data, click No to highlight unmatched data ", vbYesNo + vbQuestion, "Kutools for Excel") = vbNo)
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    xRg2.Interior.ColorIndex = xlNo
    xRg1.Interior.ColorIndex = xlNo
    For I = 1 To xRg1.Count
        Set xCell1 = xRg1.Cells(I)
        Set xCell2 = xRg2.Cells(I)
        If xCell1.Value = xCell2.Value Then
            If Not xDiffs Then
                xCell1.Interior.Color = vbRed
                xCell2.Interior.Color = vbRed
            End If
        Else
            If xDiffs Then
                xCell1.Interior.Color = vbRed
                xCell2.Interior.Color = vbRed
            End If
        End If
    Next
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

3. Press the F5 key to run the code. In the popping up Kutools for Excel dialog box, select the first column you need to compare, then click the OK button. See screenshot.

4. Then select the second compared column in the next popping up Kutools for Excel dialog box.

5. In the dialog box as below screenshot shown, for highlighting the unmatched data, please click the No button.

Then all unmatched data between two columns are highlighted immediately. See screenshot:


arrow blue right bubble Compare two columns and highlight the unmatched data with Kutools for Excel

If you just want to find out and highlight if the cell values in a column exist in another column or not, for example as below screenshot shown, number 2 in column A does not exist in column B. you can try the Compare Ranges utility of Kutools for Excel.

1. Click Kutools > Compare Ranges. See screenshot:

2. In the Compare Ranges dialog box, you need to:

2.1 Select the first column with the unmatched cells you will highlight in the Find values in box;

2.2 Select the second column you want to compare based on in the According to box;

2.3 Choose the Different Values option;

2.4 Check the Fill backcolor box and specify a background color from the drop-down list;

2.5 Click the OK button. See screenshot:

3. Then a dialog box pops up to tell you how many cells which only in column A but not in column B, click the OK button, and all matched cells are selected in column A.

Tip.If you want to have a free trial of this utility, please go to download the software freely first, and then go to apply the operation according above steps.


arrow blue right bubbleRelated articles:



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