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May 8, 2024

Google Sheets offers a range of powerful features, one of these is the **Not Equal **feature. There are two methods of implementing the Not Equal feature, by using the Not Equal to operator which can be identified by: <>. We can also call the Not Equal function. In this guide we will cover these methods in detail including the variety of uses we can apply Not Equal to.

The Not Equal sign <> in Google Sheets is referred to as the Does Not Equal symbol, it can be applied by using it in a formula.

The Not Equal formula in Google Sheets is constructed as follows:

=Value1 <> Value2

Google Sheets utilizes this formula comparing Value1 and Value2 to see if they are **not **equal**; **the results are displayed as a TRUE value if they are **NOT **equal and a FALSE value if they **ARE **equal.

In this example we will be comparing two cells in Google Sheets to check if they are **not **equal. A data set has been created displaying students and their scores in two subjects. We will compare the two scores using the Not Equal operator <>.

For this example the formula is:

**=C3<>D3**

**Formula Breakdown:**

**C3** - This is the **Value1** and the cell target

**<>** - The **Not Equal** operator

**D3 - **This is the **Value2 **and the second cell target, information contained in this cell will be compared to **Value1 **to check for non-equality

Google Sheets will now compare the two values. C3 contains “**7**”, D3 also contains “**7**”. This means the cells are equal, FALSE is shown.

In this example a data set has been created in Google Sheets. This data displays five students and the subjects they have taken. We wish to see which students have **NOT** taken “Science”. We can use the Not Equal Operator to achieve this:

In our example this is: =C3<>"Science"

**Breakdown:**

**C3** - This is the **Value1** and is the first cell value

**<>** - The **Not Equal** operator

**“Science” - **This is the **Value2 **and is a specified value denoted by the quotation marks at either side, Google Sheets will check against **Value1** and compare it to this specific value.

Google Sheets will now check Value1 (C3) which is Mathematics against our specified value (“Science''), as the two values are **Not Equal **it returns the value TRUE.

For this example in Google sheets we will apply the Not Equal to operator in a comparison of multiple data amounts. Our data displays five students, a value representing their student loan and how much has been paid. We will compare the total sum of all student loans to the total sum of all amounts paid to see if the total values are **not **equal. We will use the Not Equal operator to achieve this.

In this example the formula will be:

=SUM(C3:C7)<>SUM(D3:D7)

**Formula Breakdown:**

**=SUM** - This will total the numeric values in a range

**C3:C7** - Google Sheets will sum the total amount within this range.

**<>** - The **Not Equal** operator

**D3:D7 **-** **This is the **second **range, Google Sheets will total this.

As we can see, the student named “Matthew” does not have equal amounts and therefore the Google Sheets returned TRUE

The second method to check non-equality is to use the Not Equal function which is called by using the** NE **marker.

The syntax for the Not Equal Function in Google Sheets is as follows:

**=NE(Value1,Value2)**

This function compares Value1 and Value2. If they are not equal the result is then displayed as a TRUE value. If they **are **equal - a FALSE value is displayed.

For this example we will use a demonstration data set, the data set shows five students with student loan arrears and how much has been paid. We want to perform a basic non-equality comparison to check if the loan amount and paid amount are **not **equal.

When we apply this function to our use case we will use:

=NE(C3,D3)

**Breakdown:**

**=NE **-** **The Not Equal marker** **to call the Not Equal function

**C3** - This is the **Value1** and is the first target, Google Sheets will check any information in this cell

**D3** - This is the **Value2** and is the second target, any information in this cell will be compared to **Value1 **to see if it does not equal

As can be seen from the results, the results are FALSE. The C3 cell value was the same as the D3 value and therefore equal. If you have additional rows Google Sheets will present the option to autofill and give a preview in light green as to the results, select the tick to apply or the cross to dismiss.

In this example we are going to use a data set in Google Sheets containing five students and subjects they have taken. We wish to find the students who did **NOT **take English**.**

In our example the function is: =NE(C3,"English")

**Function Breakdown:**

**=NE **-** **The Not Equal marker** **to call the Not Equal function

**C3** - This is the **Value1** and is a cell target, Google Sheets will check against any information in the target cell

**“English”** -** **This is the **Value2 **and is a specified value denoted by the quotation marks at either side, **Value1** is compared to this value.

We hope this article has helped you and given you a better understanding of the Google Sheets Not Equal feature. You might also like our articles on how to use the Google Sheets HLOOKUP function and how to reference another sheet in Google Sheets.

To optimize your workflow, we recommend reading our guide on how to import a CSV from an email into Google Sheets and trying our software for due date reminders.

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