Compare Two Columns in Excel

To compare the two columns in Excel we should use Conditional formatting option in Microsoft Excel 2010 and 2013.

Conditional formatting is used to highlight important information on a spreadsheet. But sometimes the inbuilt formatting rules do not go quite far enough, adding your own formula for conditional formatting rules you can do things the underlying rules to help power promotes. This option is available in “Home Tab” in the group of styles.

To use the “Conditional Formatting” with IF statement, we put the IF condition in data then we will define the conditional formatting.

Let’s take an example and understand how we can compare two data through Conditional Formatting.

For Example: We have 2 customer’s lists in the range A2:B15. Column A contains the customer list for the year 2010 and Column B contains the customer list for the year 2013.
To compare the both lists follow below mentioned Steps:-

  • Select the both lists.
  • Select the range A2:A15, press Ctrl key on your keyboard and select the range B2:B15 with the mouse.
  • Go to the Home tab, click on Conditional Formatting in the Styles group.
  • After clicking on Conditional Formatting a drop down menu will get appear.
  • From the drop down menu, click Highlight Cells Rules.

Again drop down menu will appear, click on Duplicate Values.

  • Duplicate Values dialog box will appear.
  • In the left side drop down list you can see there is 2 options are available: – Duplicate and Unique.


  • If you want to highlight the duplicate name, selectduplicate.
  • From the drop down list, select the color as per your requirement.
  • Duplicate names will get highlighted.

This is the way if you are comparing two columns then you can highlight the cells with the colors in Microsoft Excel.

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