# Conditional Formatting Issue in Excel

1. Feb 22, 2012

### s_j_sawyer

Hi everyone.

I have never worked in-depth with Excel and I am trying to make my life a bit simpler doing some data cleaning using the 'conditional formatting' option. My scenario is the following:

I have two columns of data, column A and column B. I would like to take each entry (a string of text) in column A and see if it exists anywhere in column B. If it does, I would like to highlight it one color, and if not I would like to highlight it another color. Actually, just highlighting one of the two cases would work.

I have figured out how to do this with one entry. I type

=OR(EXACT($A$2,$B$2:$B$35))

into the formula box under conditional formatting. This checks to see if the string in A2 exists anywhere in column B (i.e. from B2 to B35). If it does it will highlight it. However I cannot seem to generalize this to apply to every value in the column of A.