Compare two Excel Worksheets Cell by Cell Using VBA

How do you compare two worksheets cell by cell in the same workbook or in different workbooks? Excel VBA provides an elegant solution. First we define a few variables that can count the rows and columns so that we know how many cells are in use in the Excel worksheets. Next we assign the used ranges to the sheet with the maximum values. Now using a nested ‘for loop’ we access each cell in the used range and compare them. If the cells values are not equal we write them into a new workbook and also count the difference so that we tell the user about the number of cells that were not the same and also display both the values in the compared sheets. The displayed values are in the same cells in the new workbook as they appeared in the compared worksheets and highlighted appropriately using formatting. We also use a command button so that the user can perform the task with a single click!

The macro or VBA code:
Sub Compare2WorkSheets(ws1 As Worksheet, ws2 As Worksheet)
Dim ws1row As Long, ws2row As Long, ws1col As Integer, ws2col As Integer
Dim maxrow As Long, maxcol As Integer, colval1 As String, colval2 As String
Dim report As Workbook, difference As Long
Dim row As Long, col As Integer
Set report = Workbooks.Add
With ws1.UsedRange
ws1row = .Rows.Count
ws1col = .Columns.Count
End With
With ws2.UsedRange
ws2row = .Rows.Count
ws2col = .Columns.Count
End With
maxrow = ws1row
maxcol = ws1col
If maxrow < ws2row Then maxrow = ws2row
If maxcol < ws2col Then maxcol = ws2col
difference = 0
For col = 1 To maxcol
For row = 1 To maxrow
colval1 = “”
colval2 = “”
colval1 = ws1.Cells(row, col).Formula
colval2 = ws2.Cells(row, col).Formula
If colval1 <> colval2 Then
difference = difference + 1
Cells(row, col).Formula = colval1 & “<> ” & colval2
Cells(row, col).Interior.Color = 255
Cells(row, col).Font.ColorIndex = 2
Cells(row, col).Font.Bold = True
End If
Next row
Next col
Columns(“A:B”).ColumnWidth = 25
report.Saved = True
If difference = 0 Then
report.Close False
End If
Set report = Nothing
MsgBox difference & ” cells contain different data! “, vbInformation, “Comparing Two Worksheets”
End Sub

Private Sub CommandButton1_Click()
‘Compare2WorkSheets Worksheets(“Sheet1”), Worksheets(“Sheet2”)
Set myWorkbook1 = Workbooks.Open(“C:\familycomputerclub-website\Excel2007\testcompare2.xlsx”)
Compare2WorkSheets Workbooks(“testcompare1.xlsm”).Worksheets(“Sheet1”), myWorkbook1.Worksheets(“Sheet1”)
End Sub

Watch the Excel training video to see how this interesting VBA solution for comparing two Excel worksheets cell by cell is implemented:

9 thoughts on “Compare two Excel Worksheets Cell by Cell Using VBA

  1. Simon

    What if you just want the results in a new sheet and not a whole new workbook?
    Why is your default program a new workbook when the computer would be less cluttered the less files/workbooks are open?

  2. maddy

    The result for us is displayed as TRUE in the new workbook, but in the tutorial it is actually displaying values as in worksheets. Can u please explain why so.

  3. pavan

    when I tried the code for separate workbooks, it is showing runtime error and subscription out of range.
    what could be the reason

  4. karthick

    Thanks a lot, however, If i wish to compare only set columns and not all then how to go about it.

    For Eg, I have only 4 out of 15 columns to compare.


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