Exactly!

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

Q: I am trying to write an IF function in Excel that compares two cells to determine if they are exactly the same, including capitals and lowercase letters, but Excel seems to ignore case when using the IF function. What’s the best way to accomplish this goal?

A: Excel’s functions generally ignore case. Excel sees ABCDEF the same as abcdef, as illustrated by the IF function located in cell C2 (shown below).

Notice above that when Excel’s =IF function is used to compare cells A2 and B2, Excel considers these cells identical and returns the value TRUE. To compare two cells to determine if they are identical, including case, use the EXACT function as demonstrated below.

Notice that when using Excel’s =EXACT function to compare two cells, Excel does not consider these cells identical and returns the value FALSE.

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