You can use the following basic formula to compare two lists in Excel using the **VLOOKUP** function:

=ISNA(VLOOKUP(A2,$C$2:$C$9,1,False))

Using the **Conditional Formatting** tool in Excel, we can use this formula to highlight every value in column A that does not belong to a range in column C.

The following example shows how to use this formula in practice.

**Example: Compare Two Lists Using VLOOKUP**

Suppose we have the following two datasets in Excel:

Suppose we’d like to identify the teams in Dataset 1 that are not in Dataset 2.

To do so, we can highlight every value in column A and then click the **Conditional Formatting** button on the **Home** tab along the top ribbon.

We can then click **New Rule…**

In the new window that appears, select the option that says **Use a formula to determine which cells to format** then type in the following formula:

=ISNA(VLOOKUP(A2,$C$2:$C$9,1,False))

Then click the **Format** button and choose a color to fill in values:

Once you click **OK**, every value in column A that does not appear in column C will be highlighted:

We can manually verify that a few of the values are highlighted correctly:

**Hawks**appear in both Dataset 1 and Dataset 2, so it is not highlighted.**Mavericks**appear in both Dataset 1 and Dataset 2, so it is not highlighted.**Lakers**appear in Dataset 1 but not Dataset 2, so it*is*highlighted.

And so on.

Note that we chose to highlight values that did not belong to both datasets, but we could also apply a different styling such as bolded text, increased font size, a border around cells, etc.

**Additional Resources**

How to Compare Two Excel Sheets for Differences

How to Calculate the Difference Between Two Dates in Excel