See all How-To Articles

How to Compare Two Rows in Excel & Google Sheets

In this tutorial, you will learn how to compare two rows in Excel and Google Sheets.

 

compare two rows final data

 

Compare Two Rows

Excel allows you to compare rows and highlight the similarities and differences using conditional formatting. In the following example, there are names in Rows 2 and 3.

 

compare two rows initial data

 

Say you want to compare the two rows above and highlight cells where the rows don’t match (Columns D, G, and H) in red.

  1. Select the data range you want to compare, and in the Ribbon, go to Home > Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rules > Duplicate Values.

 

compare two rows conditional formatting 1

 

  1. In the pop-up window, (1) select Unique and (2) click OK, leaving the default format (Light Red Fill with Dark Red Text).
    You could also have selected Duplicate and in that case, the same values would be highlighted.

 

compare two rows conditional formatting 2

 

As a result, cells containing different values in Rows 2 and 3 are highlighted in red.

 

compare two rows final data

 

Compare Two Rows in Google Sheets

You can also compare two rows using conditional formatting in Google Sheets.

  1. Select the data range you want to compare (here, C2:I3), and in the Menu, go to Format > Conditional formatting.

 

google sheets compare two rows conditional formatting

 

  1. In the window on the right side, (1) select Custom formula is under Format rules, and (2) enter the formula:
=C$2<>C$3

Then (3) click on the fill color icon, (4) choose red, and (5) click Done.

 

google sheets compare two rows conditional formatting 2

 

The formula has a dollar sign to fix rows, and only change columns. This means that the formatting rule will go column-by-column and compare cells in Rows 2 and 3.

As a result, cells with different values have a red fill color.

 

google sheets compare two rows final data