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Excel 2010: How to Compare Two Strings of Text for Similarities

If you are working on a large data file and you have two columns of data for each year, you may want to check if there are any changes in the list from one year to the next. In such instances, Excel provides you with a cool function EXACT, that delivers the result in a matter of a few seconds. Instead of manually comparing large volumes of data, you can use the function to identify discrepancies quickly and take corrective action. In this Excel 2010 tutorial, you will learn how to compare two strings of text for similarities using the EXACT function.

How to Compare Two Strings of Text for Similarities

Consider a situation where you have the names of two sets of employees and you want to check if there are any changes in the employees from the year 2009 to 2010. You can quickly check the result using the following steps.

1. Position the cursor in the cell where you want the results to appear.

2. Type=EXACT(A1, B1) and press Enter. Assuming the data you want to compare are in cells A1 and B1.

3. If the resultant is true the cells have identical information. If the results are false, the data in the two cells are different.

Excel gives a false result if there are additional spaces in one of the cells being compared or if one of the cells contains a different casing.

How to Compare Two Strings of Text for Similarities

4. Place the cursor in the cell with the first resultant and double-click the cross-haired cursor to generate the results for the rest of the cells.

You can now filter the values with false results and cross check if they are genuine or dis-similar.

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Adeline is a tech enthusiast who loves exploring the latest tools and applications in the marketplace. She also loves her Android and spends time reviewing apps and games on

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    • excel June 8, 2011, 12:10 pm

      Change-Pro for Excel enables business users to compare two Excel documents for changes. With Change-Pro for Excel’ s patent-pending technology, you can view changes made to Excel values and Excel formulas, along with comparing row and column changes in spreadsheets.