Excel: check if two cells match or multiple cells are equal

The tutorial will teach you how to construct the If match formula in Excel, so it returns logical values, custom text or a value from another cell.

An Excel formula to see if two cells match could be as simple as A1=B1. However, there may be different circumstances when this obvious solution won't work or produce results different from what you expected. In this tutorial, we'll discuss various ways to compare cells in Excel, so you can find an optimal solution for your task.

How to check if two cells match in Excel

There exist many variations of the Excel If match formula. Just review the examples below and choose the one that works best for your scenario.

If two cells equal, return TRUE

The simplest "If one cell equals another then true" Excel formula is this:

cell A = cell B

For example, to compare cells in columns A and B in each row, you enter this formula in C2, and then copy it down the column:


As the result, you'll get TRUE if two cells are the same, FALSE otherwise: If two cells equal, return TRUE


  • This formula returns two Boolean values: if two cells are equal - TRUE; if not equal - FALSE. To only return the TRUE values, use in IF statement as shown in the next example.
  • This formula is case-insensitive, so it treats uppercase and lowercase letters as the same characters. If the text case matters, then use this case-sensitive formula.

If two cells match, return value

To return your own value if two cells match, construct an IF statement using this pattern:

IF(cell A = cell B, value_if_true, value_if_false)

For example, to compare A2 and B2 and return "yes" if they contain the same values, "no" otherwise, the formula is:

=IF(A2=B2, "yes", "no") If two cells match, return some value

If you only want to return a value if cells are equal, then supply an empty string ("") for value_if_false.

If match, then yes:

=IF(A2=B2, "yes", "")

If match, then TRUE:

=IF(A2=B2, TRUE, "") If two cells match, return Yes or TRUE

Note. To return the logical value TRUE, don't enclose it in double quotes. Using double quotes will convert the logical value into a regular text string.

If one cell equals another, then return another cell

And here's a variation of the Excel if match formula that solves this specific task: compare the values in two cells and if the data match, then copy a value from another cell.

In the Excel language, it's formulated like this:

IF(cell A = cell B, cell C, "")

For instance, to check the items in columns A and B and return a value from column C if text matches, the formula in D2, copied down, is:

=IF(A2=B2, C2, "") If one cell equals another, then return another cell

Case-sensitive formula to see if two cells match

In situation when you are dealing with case-sensitive text values, use the EXACT function to compare the cells exactly, including the letter case:

IF(EXACT(cell A, cell B), value_if_true, value_if_false)

For example, to compare the items in A2 and B2 and return "yes" if text matches exactly, "no" if any difference is found, you can use this formula:

=IF(EXACT(A2, B2), "Yes", "No") Case-sensitive formula to see if two cells match

How to check if multiple cells are equal

As with comparing two cells, checking multiple cells for matches can also be done in a few different ways.

AND formula to see if multiple cells match

To check if multiple values match, you can use the AND function with two or more logical tests:

AND(cell A = cell B, cell A = cell C, …)

For example, to see if cells A2, B2 and C2 are equal, the formula is:

=AND(A2=B2, A2=C2)

In dynamic array Excel (365 and 2021) you can also use the below syntax. In Excel 2019 and lower, this will only work as a traditional CSE array formula, completed by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys together.


The result of both AND formulas is the logical values TRUE and FALSE.

To return your own values, wrap AND in the IF function like this:

=IF(AND(A2=B2:C2), "yes", "")

This formula returns "yes" if all three cells are equal, a blank cell otherwise. Checking if multiple cells are equal

COUNTIF formula to check if multiple columns match

Another way to check for multiple matches is using the COUNTIF function in this form:

COUNTIF(range, cell)=n

Where range is a range of cells to be compared against each other, cell is any single cell in the range, and n is the number of cells in the range.

For our sample dataset, the formula can be written in this form:

=COUNTIF(A2:C2, A2)=3

If you are comparing a lot of columns, the COLUMNS function can get the cells' count (n) for you automatically:


And the IF function will help you return anything you want as an outcome:

=IF(COUNTIF(A2:C2, A2)=3, "All match", "") Checking if multiple columns match

Case-sensitive formula for multiple matches

As with checking two cells, we employ the EXACT function to perform the exact comparison, including the letter case. To handle multiple cells, EXACT is to be nested into the AND function like this:

AND(EXACT(range, cell))

In Excel 365 and Excel 2021, due to support for dynamic arrays, this works as a normal formula. In Excel 2019 and lower, remember to press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to make it an array formula.

For example, to check if cells A2:C2 contain the same values, a case-sensitive formula is:

=AND(EXACT(A2:C2, A2))

In combination with IF, it takes this shape:

=IF(AND(EXACT(A2:C2, A2)), "Yes", "No") Case-sensitive formula to check multiple cells for matches

Check if cell matches any cell in range

To see if a cell matches any cell in a given range, utilize one of the following formulas:

OR function

It's best to be used for checking 2 - 3 cells.

OR(cell A = cell B, cell A = cell C, cell A = cell D, …)

Excel 365 and Excel 2021 understand this syntax as well:

OR(cell = range)

In Excel 2019 and lower, this should be entered as an array formula by pressing the Ctrl + Shift + Enter shortcut.

COUNTIF function

COUNTIF(range, cell)>0

For instance, to check if A2 equals any cell in B2:D2, any of these formulas will do:

=OR(A2=B2, A2=C2, A2=D2)


=COUNTIF(B2:D2, A2)>0

If you are using Excel 2019 or lower, remember to press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to get the second OR formula to deliver the correct results. Checking if a cell matches any cell in range

To return Yes/No or any other values you want, you know what to do - nest one of the above formulas in the logical test of the IF function. For example:

=IF(COUNTIF(B2:D2, A2)>0, "Yes", "No") Check if a cell is equal to any cell in range and return Yes/No as the result.

For more information, please see Check if value exists in a range.

Check if two ranges are equal

To compare two ranges cell-by-cell and return the logical value TRUE if all the cells in the corresponding positions match, supply the equally sized ranges to the logical test of the AND function:

AND(range A = range B)

For example, to compare Matrix A in B3:F6 and Matrix B in B11:F14, the formula is:

=AND(B3:F6= B11:F14)

To get Yes/No as the result, use the following IF AND combination:

=IF(AND(B3:F6=B11:F14), "Yes", "No") Checking if two ranges are equal

That's how to use the If match formula in Excel. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!


  1. Hi,
    I need a formula to check if one cell is greater than 3 other cells, then apply a specific text if this condition is met.

    For Example i have the Following Range: 25 50 75 100 (This range could change depending on the pre conditions)

    I want to write a formula that checks which is the highest value in the above range and returns a specific narration according to the highest value in the range.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. What if you are trying to determine if Column L lists one client multiple times? I want a Yes/No return in Column Z. Currently my formula is: =IF(OR(L7=$L$3:$L$1649),"Yes","No")

    the problem here is that L7 shouldn't be included in the range BUT I want all numbers before and after...I want the range to include L3:L6 AND L8:L1649.

    The problem is if I separate those two out into the following formula, it wont work as it comes up with a #SPILL error:


    Any idea how to get each Row in Column Z to return an accurate Yes/No based on whether the name of the company in Column L is used in/the same as any other Row in Column L?

  3. I'm having a bit of a problem here :D
    What if I had four sets of colums A,B,C,D
    Column C consists of same letter+digit strings as column A, but columns C has them sorted not in the same order. Then column D consists of dates assigned to the strings in column C.
    How can I write formula that will check if column C has a cell with string of letters+numbers that matches a cell in column A - then if it's a match, column B will download the date from a corresponding cell (to cell in C column) in column D

    • Hi! If I understand correctly, to find the value in column C and get the corresponding value from column D, you can use INDEX MATCH function. Here is an example formula:


      I hope it’ll be helpful.

  4. There are 3 columns: A, B, C

    If value of a cell of A match with any of the cell value of B column, I want to print value of C [match index of B] in result.

    Is it possible?

    Thanks in advance.

      • Thanks you Alex for the reply, the INDEX MATCH seems to work for me, saved me lot of time.

  5. I have data in two sheets June and July with ID numbers and values in two different column. I wanna bring July yearly values in June sheet.
    Some ID's are similar number or duplicate in ID coloumn so cant use VLOOKUP or sumifs .

    Pls help

  6. i need help for this function: if column A has counting 1 to 5 and column B is empty and i put random number in column B. if entered number match with column A then then ok otherwise system move cursor where entered number exist

  7. How do match with formula in excel
    A1=P b1=D C1=as D1=cd
    A2=as b2=cd
    Result E1 CELL IN TRUE

    C1 AND D1 cell same value match in column A & B

  8. Alexander, Thank you for your help on this formula =IF(AND($G8<40000,OR($B8="AZ",$B8="NM")),"N/A","N"). I will clarify (it won't let me snippet a picture).

    Column B
    State Which is either AZ, CO, KS, NM, WY

    Column G-P&C
    Amounts ranging from -$168 to $500,000+

    Column H-Life
    Amounts ranging -$ numbers to $0 to blank to $100,000+

    Column J
    P&C Goal
    $40,000 for AZ, KS, NM-Formula to return Y,N
    N/A for CO, WY and Formula to return N/A
    Need this formula based on column B and G

    Column K
    Life Goal
    $4,000 for AZ, CO, KS, NM, WY
    Need formula based on column B and column H

  9. Also, if the column is blank I need it read as zero dollars.

  10. I have column B which indicates a state of AZ, CO, NM, WY. Column G indicates an amount in dollars. States of AZ and NM have a goal of $40,000 and CO and WY do not have the goal so I want to return N/A (not applicable). I am struggling with the formula. Nothing I am doing is returning a result =if(($g8<$40,000)AND($b8="AZ",$b8="NM"),"N/A","N")) or =IF(($B8="AZ")*OR($B8="NM")*AND($G8<40,0),"N/A","Y"). Yikes, I am in over my head!

  11. Hello! I am using the below formulate to find one cell's value in a column range but it is not working because the cells in that column range contain multiple values separated by spaces ;

    = IFERROR(INDEX($B:$B,MATCH(C1,$A:$A,0)),0)

    example - looking to match c1 value of 123 to a cell in column A and return the value next to the matching cell in column B - the problem is that the values in column A appear as such; "123 234 655"

    so the 123 is contained in cell A but because it has other values it returns 0

  12. Hi,

    I have multiple column where the value are mentioned. I need to identify the cell reference where the value of the cell is >=100.
    For example cell a3 = 0 , a4 = 70, a5 = 99,...a30 = 101

    Then through index match i will be able to identify the cell reference as A30.
    Plese help getting this figured out


  13. IF(Z814>=F814,F814)+AND(Z814<=F814,Z814) Not working both the condition whih is only get the firt condidition kinldy guide this one

  14. Hello,

    Wondering if you're able to help me. If two cells match within the same column (cannot be case sensitive), is there a way to copy the data from some of the cells in the row of one match to the row of the other? Hoping you can help me. I have 40,000 columns containing duplicates! Thanks so much.

  15. Hello There I have a question here would help please?

    I use Office 365
    I need to make a formula that in case (for Example) A1= one cell of range (B2:B100) then C1 equal same cell number of range (D2:D100)

    I mean in case A1=B55 then C1=D55
    A90=B30 then C90=D30 --- but B column is a range of 100 cells and D is a range of 100 cells too
    like that - I'm collecting information from many tables so,

      • Noooo it's not like that -- Look,
        I have 2000 items in A column ---> i have first specifications in B column -----> i have the second specification in C column (all specifications for all the items 2000 each on in same raw but different columns).

        Now in a new table i need to create dropdown list for the whole 2000 items to be once i choose any of those 2000 items in A1 -- first specification appears automatically in B1 and second specification appears automatically in C!1

  16. Hello! I have a question for you and hope you can help!
    I am setting up a sheet to help with pricing.
    I would like it set up so that I can enter a number of times that someone buys and in another cell it will calculate the total cost.
    But the more you buy the different price point it would be.
    so if buying 1 it's $2.50, buying 2 is $2.40...
    I tried using an IF formula =IF(A1=1, C3; A1=2; C4) but that's not correct.. not sure what I need to do differently!

  17. Hi Alexander, I am really stuck on a formula for the following;

    If i enter a value in C1, I want it to either permanently highlight or delete the matching value that is in C2:V21.
    When i change and add a new value in C1, I need the existing and new value to still be highlighted in C2:V21.

    I enter '9' in C1.
    I need to permanently highlight or delete the '9' that is located in C2:V21.
    When i change C1 to '23', I need to then have both 9 & 23 permanently highlighted or deleted from C2:V21 and so on.

    Any assistance is appreciated.

    Thank you

    PS. this is for a non-profit.

  18. I have 2 columns. Column A with 6 different items with dropdown menu (Apple, Bag, Pen, Pillow, Shoe, Flower) and the other column B with Status from dropdown menu (Lost, Found, Destroyed and Fixed). I want to create a formula in order to count for example how many apples are found , how many apples are lost, how many are fixed. Same for different items. What formula can I use?

  19. I need to know if the value of one is A, B,C or D then take the total from collum E and put in collum F

    how is that done?

  20. I'm trying to work out this formula but haven't had any luck so far:

    Column A with 'Order Numbers'.
    Column B with 'Suppliers' (there's two of them).
    Column C to return those Order Numbers that appear next to / match both suppliers in Column B. And the ones that don't appear to both Supplers - show blank cell.

    • Hi! If I understand your task correctly, try the following formula:

      =IF(COUNTIF($A$1:$A$100, A1)=2,A1,"")

      I hope it’ll be helpful. If this is not what you wanted, please describe the problem in more detail.

      • Hi Alexander, thank you. I tried it, it returns blanks only.

        Here's a better example:

        Column A (order number) | Column B (product) | Column C (result)
        1 | 5001 | Apple | /blank/
        2 | 5002 | Apple | 2
        3 | 5002 | Apple | 3
        4 | 5002 | Orange | 4
        5 | 5002 | Orange | 5
        6 | 5003 | Orange | /blank/
        7 | 5004 | Apple | 7
        8 | 5004 | Apple | 8
        9 | 5004 | Orange | 9
        10 | 5004 | Orange | 10
        11 | 5005 | Apple | /blank/
        12 | 5005 | Orange | /blank/

        Column C I need to return those Line numbers where Order number appears next same product. In this examples this would be as shown above.

        • Hi! I wrote this formula based on the description you provided in your original comment. Please note that if you’d provided me with the precise and detailed description of your task from the very beginning, I’d have created a different formula that would have worked for your case.

          =IF(COUNTIFS($A$1:$A$100, A1,$B$1:$B$100,B1)=2,ROW(),"")

  21. Hi,
    Is it possible to match two different columns of data and return values based on matching contents? I have two separate sheets containing an ID number and a corresponding date. Sheet A contains three variables, a customer ID number, a date and time whereas Sheet B contains only selection of these ID numbers and a corresponding date.

    I am hoping to match customers by their ID number and date of attendance from Sheet A to the matching values in Sheet B and if a match is detected to copy the time variable from Sheet A to the corresponding ID number and date in Sheet B, is this possible? I have tried combinations of IF, MATCH and INDEX functions but can't get to work as it's covering a range of customer ID's that may be in separate rows across the sheet. For Example ID Number 1 on 17/06/23 with a time of 12:00 could be in cell B1 in Sheet A but in B5 in Sheet B, can Excel check across a range of values for matches within another range?

    Thanks in advance.

  22. How to verify there’s only one Logic True Value in range of cells using combinations of OR and AND functions?

    • The formula will return TRUE if there is only one TRUE logical value in the range.


  23. Hi all,

    I am very stuck in a formula and would like some help. I have an export from a survey from Ms Forms, the answers to the survey have multiple options meaning that the excel report has multiple values in a cell divided with the symbol ";". We also have an option "other" which is free text choice. I need to build a calculator to automate the count of responses but i am not sure how to do that.

  24. Hello,

    I have 2 spreadsheets of nearly identical information between them, except 2 columns. I want to update the 2nd sheet when remaining values match between the 2 spreadsheets. I know I can order them similarly and then simply copy the column in question from 1 sheet to the 2nd, but I would rather have the accuracy of a formula.

  25. Hi,
    I was given this really difficult assignment and cannot seem to figure it out. On one sheet I have a matrix that consists of one column for lane numbers (ex. 1000) and two other columns for ranges of volume (ex. 0 to 50, 50 to 100). On another sheet I have the same lane number (1000) but different amounts of randomized volumes. How can I formulate so that it matches the same lane number from the matrix tab and counts how many times it fell in between the two ranges?
    I would greatly appreciate the help!!

  26. This helpful page explains ways to test if a cell matches any cell in a range, also to test if two ranges are equal. I'm trying to extend these methods to test if a range of three numbers in adjacent cells of column A matches a three-adjacent-number range found anywhere in column B which contains many such three-number ranges. For example, if column A contains (only) 8, 6, and 2 I want to search column B to see if the 8,6,2 sequence is present. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I'm using an older Excel version.

    • Hello!
      Find the first match of A1 using the MATCH function. Use the OFFSET function to take two values below and compare them to A2 and A3. Use the AND function to combine the three conditions.


      If you have the TEXTJOIN function, you can combine the numbers into a text string and use the search as described in this manual: How to find substring in Excel


      • Alexander,
        Thank you for your quick response and suggestion to use the OFFSET and MATCH functions to solve my problem. The specific code you provided does not quite solve the problem because it won't find the matching three-adjacent-number range if an earlier three-adjacent-number range contains the first digit of the search triplet. Using my prior example, if A1:A3 contain 8,6,2 and if B9:B11 contain 7,6,8 followed by 8,6,2 in B13:B15, the result should be TRUE because the B13:B15 numbers match. But the result is given as FALSE because the lower triplet isn't found. So far I have not found the right combination of OFFSET, MATCH, and AND functions to get around this limitation.

        • Hi! I don't think you can solve this problem with an old version of Excel. Unfortunately, the functions you need are not available to you.

          • OK, thanks for that info. I have a workaround that may be close enough for my purposes. Since I can't match arrays in my older Excel version, I will have Excel compute a single number for each three-adjacent-number item using a mathematical formula that combines all three numbers. Then a single-number MATCH function similar to what you suggested will let me find the cases I want. I can tolerate some small number of false positive matches which could result if the mathematical formula is too simplistic.

  27. Is there a way to match approximate text? Let's say I'm comparing company names and cell A1 says "Clothing Corporation" and A2 says "Clothing Corporatio" (missing the final "n"), is there a fairly easy way to do that? It won't always be 2 words - often times 3+ words in the company name.

  28. Hello, I have a workbook where our organization tracks gift cards we distribute to clients. The serial numbers are entered into a worksheet based on on the card's vendor/donor (e.g. one worksheet for Walmart cards, another for Kroger cards). The workbook also includes a Master Worksheet that contains all the serial numbers for all the gift cards, entered when we receive the cards. I would like to create a formula that marks the gift card as distrubuted in the Master Worksheet when the serial number is entered in its corresponding Worksheet when we distribute it.

    For example, I have one worksheet with all Walmart gift card records. When we hand out a gift card, the employee records the serial number. Would it be possible to create a formula in the Master worksheet, so that when a serial number in the Walmart worksheet matches a serial number in the Master Worksheet, the "Distributed" column reads "Yes"?

    • Hi! Look up the serial number from the Master worksheet on the Walmart worksheet using the MATCH function. You can find the examples and detailed instructions here: How to use MATCH function in Excel.
      For example:


      The ISNUMBER function will return TRUE if a match is found. I hope it’ll be helpful.

  29. Hi, I’m wanting to return a value if one cell equals another then put in say 10, otherwise leave blank. I have tried =if (d3=c3,10,””). If you leave both those cells blank it returns the 10 value which is not what I want. I want it to be blank but if those two cells are equal then I want the answer to be 10. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

      • Alexander, thank you so much it worked perfectly.

  30. If cell 1 ,2 & 3 have values and are populated accordingly, then I want a Text string returned, for example "Matched" in a new column.

    If cell 1 ,2 & 3 have no values and are not populated accordingly, then I want a Text string returned, for example "Unmatched" in a new column.

    • Hi!
      Have you tried the ways described in this blog post? If they don’t work for you, then please describe your task in detail, explain what "populated accordingly" means.

  31. I find a lot of this so informational! I have been scratching my head, but i'm trying to create a cell where if yes that Cell A says "Yes" based on a condition being met, and Cell B also says "Yes" on its own condition being met, that this formula will then read "Yes" indicating both conditions were met. Same if only one says YES and the other says No, this will read "no" and they must both be "YES" to end up as a yes? The issue i have is, if both cells conditions were not met and it says "no" the final cell is still indicating "true" since they match each other...

    If that made sense to anyone...

      • Wow... I am just speechless, Alexander. You are extremely skilled at this, and understand it so phenomenally! I can't thank you enough for that!

  32. I am comparing two columns and the individual columns have duplicated values. How can I match ? for example if one of the column have two 10,000 and the other column have three 10,000 I want to get one 10,000 as a difference.

  33. I am working a pulling info and I was using vlookup and it work great =VLOOKUP(A2,'Employee Ben'!A$2:DE$1650,107,FALSE)
    I can reference the ssn in the first column and then it searches the employee ben sheet for the number and then pulls the column that i ask for for the match. Problem is need to match 2 fields in the same row and and then pull a specified column. I cannot figure this out. Driving me Mad.

  34. Is there a way to look at all (text) data in Column A, does it match a text value in Column B, and if 'yes' - enter what is in Column C into Column D.
    Column B, C and D are all aligned in the same row.

  35. hello
    I want to ask if there is a possibility of compare the names in two rows where by in each row there are three for each person and the names but some of the names are not match exactly. If there is a possibility that at least two names to be match and the status became match
    Mussa Jayden Ally vs Musa Jayden Ally
    I need to see these match regardless of the difference in the name mussa vs musa

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