Count matches between two columns

Count matches between two columns

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If you want to compare two columns and count matches in corresponding rows, you can use the SUMPRODUCT function with a simple comparison of the two ranges. For example, if you have values in B5:B11 and C5:C11 and you want to count any differences, you can use this formula:


How this formula works

The SUMPRODUCT function is a versatile function that handles arrays natively without any special array syntax. Its behavior is simple: it multiplies, then sums the product of arrays. In the example shown, the expression B5:B11 = C5:C11 will generate an array that contains TRUE and FALSE values like this:


Note that we have 3 TRUE values because there are 3 matches.

In this state, SUMPRODUCT will actually return zero because TRUE and FALSE values are not counted as numbers in Excel by default. To get SUMPRODUCT to treat TRUE as 1 and FALSE as zero, we need to “coerce” them into numbers. The double negative is a simple way to do that:


After coercion, we have:


With no other arrays to multiply, SUMPRODUCT simply sums the values and returns 3.

To count non-matching values, you can reverse the logic like so:


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