Do you ever need to find the differences between two lists? There are many ways to go about doing this in Excel, but surprisingly, the GoTo command provides a really quick and easy way to accomplish this.

First, highlight the lists that you want to compare. If they aren’t in adjacent columns, select one list, then hold down the ctrl key while highlighting the rest. Then press F5 or Ctrl+G (both are shortcut keys for the Go To command) and click the Special button. Or if you prefer to use the mouse, click the Find & Select button on the ribbon and choose Go To Special. In the window that pops up, choose Row Differences and click OK. Excel will compare the cells in second column to the cell on the same row in the first column. Additional columns will be compared to each of the previous columns. Each cell that is different from the first column will be selected. If you want to mark those differences so you can find them again, just click the Fill Color button while the cells are still selected.

You can compare data that’s in rows instead of columns using the same method, but you’ll choose Column Differences in the Go To Special window instead of Row Differences.

 

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