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How to select and highlight row differences in Excel?

Supposing there is a range of cells, and what you want is to select and highlight the row differences as below screenshot shown. Obviously, you can check and select them one by one, but it is time-wasting. In this article, I introduce some quick tricks for you to select and highlight the row differences in Excel.

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arrow blue right bubble Find row differences with formula


In Excel, there are some formulas can help you to handle this problem.

Select a blank cell next to the cells you want to use, for instance, C1, and enter this formula =$A1<>$B1 (A1 and B1 are the cells in the row you want to check if containing the same value) and drag autofill handle down to the cells which needs this formula, and the result displayed as FALSE means the row cells are containing the same value, and TRUE means row differences. See screenshot:
doc select highlight row differences 2

Tip: if you want to find the row differences in case sensitive, you can use this formula, =NOT(EXACT($A1,$B1)).


arrow blue right bubble Select and highlight row differences with Go To Special

Actually, in Excel, you also can apply the Go To Special function to quickly select the row differences.

1. Select the cell range you use, and press Ctrl + G to open Go To dialog, and click Special to go to the Go To Special dialog. See screenshot:
doc select highlight row differences 3

2. And check Row differences option in the Go To Special dialog. See screenshot:
doc select highlight row differences 4

3. Click OK. Now the cells which are different with first one cell in the same row are selected. See screenshot:
doc select highlight row differences 5

Note: it is case insensitive when you apply this method.


arrow blue right bubble Select and highlight row differences with Kutools for Excel

With Kutools for Excel – a handy and multi-functional tool installed, you can apply its Select Same & Different Cells utility to quickly find the row differences.

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 first column data, and hold Ctrl key to select the second column data. See screenshot:
doc select highlight row differences 6

2. Click Kutools > Select > Select Same & Different Cells. See screenshot:
doc select highlight row differences 7

3. Then in the Select Same & Different Cells dialog, check Each row in the Based on section, and check Different Values in Find section. For highlighting the rows differences, check Fill background or Fill font color option in Processing Values section, and check Select entire row at bottom. See screenshot:
doc select highlight row differences 8

4. Click Ok, and a dialog pops out to remind you the number of row differences, and at the same time, the rows with different values are highlighted with background color. See screenshot:
doc select highlight row differences 9

Tip: you can check Case sensitive option in the Select Same & Different Cells dialog to compare in case sensitive.

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