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How to find unique/duplicate values between two columns in excel?

For example, I have two columns of different length filled with student names, and now I want to compare these two columns to select all values in column A but not in column B, and select all values in column B but not in column A. That means selecting unique values between two columns. If I compare them cell by cell, it will be very time-consuming. Are there any good ideas to find out all unique values between two columns in Excel quickly?


Find unique/duplicate values between two columns with formula

The following formula can also help you to find the unique values, please do as this:

In a blank cell B2, enter this formula =IF(ISNA(VLOOKUP(A2,$C$2:$C$13,1,FALSE)),"Yes",""), and then drag this cell's AutoFill Handle to the cell B15.

If the unique values stay only in Column A but not in Column C, it will be displayed Yes in column B; while if return nothing in Column B, it means corresponding value stays in both Column A and Column C. See screenshot:

Notes:

(1) In the above formula, A2 is the column which you want to be compared. And the $C$2:$C$13 is the range that you want compared with.

(2) If you want to list the unique values only in Column C but not in Column A, you can apply this formula: =IF(ISNA(VLOOKUP(C2,$A$2:$A$15,1,FALSE)),"Yes","").

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Find and count unique/duplicate values between two columns with formula of Kutools for Excel

Actually, the Kutools for Excel also provides a similar Count times a word appears formula to check and count the unique values between two columns in Excel. Please do as follows:

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1. Select a blank cell beside the the first column, in our case we select the Cell B2, and click Kutools > Formula Helper > Count times a word appears. See screenshot:

2. In the opening Formula Helper dialog box, please specify the absolute address of the second column ( $C$2:$C$13 in our case) into the Text box, select the first item of the first column (A2 in our case) into the Word box, and click the OK button.

3. And then drag this cell's AutoFill Handle to the range as you need.

And then each item's occurrence in the Column C has been counted out. 0 means corresponding item is unique between two columns. While other numbers, such as 1 means corresponding value exists in the Column C and appears once in the Columns C. See left screenshot:

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Find unique/duplicate values between two columns with Kutools for Excel

Actually, Kutools for Excel develops a Select Same & Different Cells utility to help Excel users to compare two lists and find/count/highlight the same values or unique values between them easily. Please do as follows:

Kutools for Excel - Packed with over 300 essential tools for Excel. Enjoy a full-featured 30-day FREE trial with no credit card required! Download now!

1. Click Kutools > Select > Select Same & Different Cells.

2. In the Select Same & Different Cells dialog box, Please do as follows:

(1) Specify the first column whose values you will check if unique into the Find Values in box;
(2) Specify the second column you will check values based on into the According to box;
(3) In the Based on section, please check the Each row option;
(4) In the Find section, please check the Different Values option;
(5) It's optional to check the Fill backcolor option and specify a fill color from below drop down list;
(6) Click the Ok button.

Note: (1) If two columns have the same header, please check the My data has headers option; (2) For finding out duplicate values between two column, please check the Same Values option.

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3. And then all unique values (or duplicate values) in the first column have been selected and filled with specified color, and a dialog box shows how many cells have been selected. See screenshot:
doc find unique values kte 02

If you want to select the values in column C but not in Column A, you just need to swap the scope of Range A and Range B.


Demo: find unique/duplicate values between two columns in excel


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Comments (9)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
'=IF(ISNA(VLOOKUP(A2,$C$2:$C$13,1,FALSE)),"Yes","")'formula worked thanks buddy......................
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Student ID Pass/Fail Result 2013000563 Passed 2013000563 Failed 2013000563 Passed 2013000563 Passed 2013000563 Passed Failed 2013000595 Passed 2013000595 Passed 2013000595 Passed 2013000595 Passed Passed please help me for same
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
In your first example Col A has more rows than Col C. If your reverse that, where Col C has more rows than A, then when you run out of rows in Col A, there will be yes's in the test column. How do you account for unequal rows in the formula? thanks very much....
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Hi Sir, I have columns with different numbers and i need the unique numbers in the seperate column using formula is that possible? Regards Ashwin
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Thanks a lot for the detailed answer.
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I tried the two first ways but in both cases I got a message that the formula is faulty. Could the formula be different for excel on PC or mac? I would need an answer asap...
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Hi there , I want to reconcile the ledger account in order to trace discrepencies using the easiest excel function. please help
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I solved how we can find the differences between two spread sheets with nested formulas and an easy macro. I'm not a programmer. I'm an economist. Post this: http://youtu.be/T5H_w4x5tZg<br /> The template I designed is under copyright. Now I'm working with a different one when we are working with repeated records in both sheets. If anyone want to find any differences, send me your spread sheets if you like and I'll help you asap.
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dear sir plz help me to tally ledger a/c of two excel sheet
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