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How to Compare Text Values in Excel

In Excel, you can handle comparisons between text values using various methods and functions. Here are some approaches:

  1. Equal to (=) Comparison: Use the equal sign (=) to check if two text values are identical. For instance, =A1=B1 will return TRUE if cell A1 and cell B1 have the same text.
  2. Exact Function: The EXACT function compares two text strings and returns TRUE if they are exactly the same, including letter case. For example, =EXACT(A1, B1).
  3. Using IF Function: Employ the IF function to perform text comparisons based on certain conditions. For instance, =IF(A1=B1, “Match”, “No Match”) will display “Match” if A1 and B1 are the same, and “No Match” if they differ.
  4. Partial Match with SEARCH or FIND: Functions like SEARCH or FIND can be utilized to check if a specific text exists within another text. For example, =IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH(“keyword”, A1)), “Found”, “Not Found”) will check if “keyword” exists in cell A1.
  5. Wildcard Characters: Use wildcard characters like asterisk (*) or question mark (?) within functions like IF or COUNTIF to match patterns within text. For instance, =IF(ISNUMBER(SEARCH(“apples*”, A1)), “Contains Apples”, “No Apples”) will identify cells that start with “apples”.

Each method serves different purposes in comparing text values, allowing you to perform various text-based operations and comparisons within Excel.


What does the EXACT function do?

The EXACT function compares two text strings and returns TRUE if they are identical, considering case sensitivity; otherwise, it returns FALSE.

What is the primary use of the MATCH function?

The MATCH function searches for a specified value in a range and returns its position within that range.

Can MATCH() be used for case-insensitive text comparisons?

No, MATCH() requires an exact match by default but can be combined with other functions for case-insensitive comparisons.

What are the benefits of combining IF and MATCH() for text comparison?

IF(MATCH(“*text*”, A:A, 0), “Found”, “Not Found”) helps identify if “text” exists in column A using wildcards.

Can IF be used for partial text comparison?

Yes, by combining IF with functions like SEARCH() or FIND() to identify partial text matches.

What does the FIND function do in Excel?

The FIND function is used to locate the position of a specific character or substring within a text string.

How can FIND be combined with other functions for advanced text manipulation?

FIND is often used in combination with functions like LEFT, RIGHT, or MID to extract specific portions of text from a larger string.