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## How to Compare Two Columns in Excel: A Stepwise Tutorial

If you're dealing with data in Excel, there may be occasions where you need to compare two columns. For instance, you might have a list of customers in one column and order numbers in another. If you want to identify which customer corresponds to which order, you'll need to compare the two columns. This guide will walk you through the process of comparing two columns in Excel, demonstrating different formulas for this task.

#### Comparing Two Columns in Excel Using VLOOKUP

Matching two columns in Excel can be effortlessly achieved using the VLOOKUP function, a built-in Excel feature for looking up values in a table.

To utilize the VLOOKUP function, you'll need a data table with two columns. The first column contains the values you want to look up, while the second column holds the values you want to retrieve.

Here's the syntax for the VLOOKUP function:

=VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])

• lookup_value: The value you want to find in the first column of the table.
• table_array: The range of cells containing the data table.
• col_index_num: The column number in the table array containing the value to be returned.
• [range_lookup]: An optional argument. If set to TRUE or omitted, Excel finds the closest match to the lookup_value. If set to FALSE, Excel finds an exact match.

Example:

=VLOOKUP(A2, A1:B10, 2, FALSE)

This formula will return the order number for the specified customer name.

#### Comparing Two Columns in Excel Using INDEX and MATCH

Another method for comparing two columns in Excel involves using the INDEX and MATCH functions. INDEX retrieves a value from an array, while MATCH searches an array for a specified value.

To employ INDEX and MATCH, you need a data table with two columns, similar to the VLOOKUP method.

Here are the syntaxes for INDEX and MATCH:

=INDEX(array, row_num, [column_num])

=MATCH(lookup_value, lookup_array, [match_type])

Example:

=INDEX(B1:B10, MATCH(A2, A1:A10, 1))

This formula will return the order number corresponding to the specified customer name.

#### Comparing Two Columns in Excel Using IF

A third approach to comparing two columns in Excel involves the use of the IF function. IF checks a condition and returns a value based on the result.

In this scenario, you can use IF to check if a customer name is present in column A and return the corresponding order number from column B.

Here's the syntax for the IF function:

=IF(condition, value_if_true, value_if_false)

Example:

=IF(A2=A1, B1, IF(A3=A2, B2, FALSE))

This formula will return the order number for the specified customer name, checking multiple conditions if necessary.