I hope there's an easier way... Assuming you don't care if the values *within* some column are unique:

You can use the `MATCH`

function to find some value in some range. Like to find the index (position) of the value in `A1`

within the range `B1:B5`

, use:

```
=MATCH(A1, $B$1:$B$5, 0)
```

The `$`

makes the range `B1:B5`

absolute, and thus fixed when copying this formula to other cells. (In Excel, one could also use `B:B`

to search the whole column instead.) The last parameter, `0`

, makes this independent of any sort order in `B1:B5`

. Likewise, to get the index of the value in `B1`

within the range `A1:A5`

:

```
=MATCH(B1, $A$1:$A$5, 0)
```

Due to using `0`

for the last parameter, this yields `#N/A`

if the value is *not* found. This can be trapped with `ISERROR`

, like so:

```
=IF( ISERROR( MATCH(A1, $B$1:$B$5, 0)), A1 & " is unique", "" )
=IF( ISERROR( MATCH(B1, $A$1:$A$5, 0)), B1 & " is unique", "" )
```

With the first 2 formulas in columns `C`

and `D`

, and the latter 2 formulas in columns `E`

and `F`

:

I don't really know how to combine the results from columns `E`

and `F`

into a nice overview. You could use the same formulas for conditional formatting though, to apply some specific formatting to the values themselves when unique. Above I did that in columns `A`

and `B`

, using conditions like:

```
ISERROR( MATCH(A1, $B$1:$B$5, 0) )
ISERROR( MATCH(B1, $A$1:$A$5, 0) )
```

Exclusive Or (XOR)orSymmetric Differenceof column A & B. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclusive_or / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetric_difference – wilson Dec 9 '10 at 11:04