Thursday, January 27, 2011

VLOOKUP in Excel To FInd List Matches in 2 Steps and Then Remove Them

Using VLOOKUP In Excel

To Find List Matches

In 2 Steps

and Then Remove Them



If you are an Internet marketer, you already know the importance of list management skills. Nothing beats Excel as a platform to manipulate the data in your lists.

Here is a quick lesson on how to find matching records in 2 lists in just 2 steps using VLOOKUP. We will then show you how to quickly remove those matches from either of these lists, leaving you with the original list with all records that have no matches in the other list.

Finding Matches in 2 Lists Using VLOOKUP

Step 1 – Arrange the Lists Properly and Perform a VLOOKUP

Here are the 2 lists. Arrange them so that the larger list is on the left:




Now, perform your VLOOKUP. Type the formula shown below into cell D2 and copy it down to cell D9. The results of the VLOOKUP appear in cells D2 to D9. An explanation of this VLOOKUP is provided next.

Click on the Image To See Larger Version

 
Here is an explanation of each argument of the VLOOKUP function in this case:



Column D contains the results of the VLOOKUP. The actual contents of the cells in this column are the VLOOKUP formulas, not the values showing in the cells. We need to work with only the values that appear and not the formulas.


Step 2 - Copy and Sort the Values from VLOOKUP

To do this, copy the contents of the column and then paste only their values using Paste / Paste Special / Values as shown here:

Click on the Image To See Larger Version


Now that we have a column of values and not formulas, we can sort the column with the ordinary Sort function under the Data tab as follows:

Click on the Image To See Larger Version


The Matches in Both Lists

Here is the result of the Sort. Highlighted in yellow are the matches from both lists:



Removing the Matches From List 1.

Paste the matches at the bottom of List 1:




Sort List 1 to get this result:



Use an If-Then-Else statement to print any cells that do not have matches above or below them. If a cell above or below matches that cell, only a blank space (“ “) will be printed. The formula shown in cell Q4 can be copied in cells Q2 to Q13 to get the following result:

Click On Image To See Larger Version


The contents of the cells in column Q are actually formulas, not the numbers that appear in the cells that are the result of the calculation. We need to copy only those numerical values into a column so we can perform data operations on them.

Do this the same way it was done above. Copy the contents of cells Q2 to Q13 and paste them into a new column using Paste Special / Values to get the following result:

Click On Image To See Larger Version


Sorting these will give you the final List 1 (highlighted in yellow below) with all matches from List 2 removed:

Click On Image To See Larger Version


You could easily run the same removal procedure on List 2 to remove the matches from that list as well. If you did that, you would have 2 lists that had no matching records.




If you would like to create a link to this blog article, here is the link to copy for your convenience: Using VLOOKUP In Excel To Find and Remove Matches in 2 Lists

Using VLOOKUP In Excel To Remove Matches in 2 Lists
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1 comment:

  1. Vlookup sounds great until you're trying to compare two lists where somebody has formatted the cells differently. The way Excel refuses to actually change the format of a cell's contents when you format a range of cells makes this shortcoming even more fun.

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