How To Compare Two Excel Sheets

Comparing two Excel sheets can be a bit of a daunting task, however, it doesn’t have to be. In this article, I’ll walk you through some efficient methods for comparing two Excel sheets and share some personal tips and tricks that have worked wonders for me.

Using Excel’s Built-in Features

Excel offers some handy built-in features for comparing two sheets. One of my favorite methods is using the VLOOKUP function. This powerful function allows you to compare two columns of data and easily identify any differences. By using VLOOKUP, you can quickly spot disparities between the two sheets and reconcile any discrepancies.

Conditional Formatting

Another feature I often use is conditional formatting. This allows you to visually highlight variances between the two sheets. For example, you can set up conditional formatting to highlight cells that are different in color, making it easy to see where the disparities lie.

Third-Party Tools

If you’re dealing with large or complex datasets, using third-party tools can be a game-changer. Tools like Spreadsheet Compare, Kutools for Excel, and Beyond Compare offer advanced functionality for comparing and merging Excel sheets. These tools have saved me countless hours of manual work and have provided a level of accuracy that is hard to achieve through manual methods alone.

Using Macros

For those comfortable with VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), creating custom macros can automate the comparison process. I’ve found that writing a custom macro to compare specific data points or formats can be incredibly efficient and tailored to my exact needs.


Comparing two Excel sheets doesn’t have to be a headache. Whether you’re using Excel’s built-in features or leveraging third-party tools, there are plenty of methods to streamline the comparison process. By incorporating these techniques into your workflow, you can save time and ensure accurate data comparison.