East Bay Solutions

Comparing Two Lists of Data in Excel



Problem or Question:

How do I compare two lists of data with each other?



Solution or Answer:

When comparing two lists of data:

Two lists: Does ‘x’ from list one appear anywhere in list two VICE VERSA ?

Given the formula, =ISNA(MATCH(F5,$G$5:$G$9,FALSE)) if ‘x’ does NOT appear in list two, it will result in TRUE (‘x’ being the contents of list 1)

Your formula will not be exactly the as the formula above. The highlighted section will vary depending on the range of cells being searched. By using this formula the question that is being asked of Excel:  Is this item in list 1 missing from list 2? 

The answers you will receive will either be True or False:

True = Yes, it is missing from list 2.  

False = No, it is not missing from list 2.


In this formula=ISNA(MATCH(F5,$G$5:$G$9,FALSE))

       F5 = the item from list 1 that you wish to look for in list 2

       $G$5:$G$9 = the range in list 2 that will be searched

Note: that if you add more names at the bottom, you HAVE to change the formula.


Notice when Jim and Jim are added, Jim in list 2 is not covered by the green box. You have to drag the handle until Jim is covered then it will respond with the correct answer “False”


Submitted by Jennifer Toor  jennifer.toor@csueastbay.edu

Article Details

Last Updated
29th April 2013 03:35:22 pm

Submitted By
Jennifer Toor

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