With the **EXACT**
and **MATCH** functions, you can match
and compare numbers.

This article explains how to use them.

Contents

## Compare two numbers using EXACT, and the equal sign

The **EXACT** function takes two strings as parameters and returns **TRUE** or **FALSE**.

`=EXACT (text1, text2)`

The function works in a similar way as the equal sign, but there are differences. This example illustrates them.

As you can see, almost all the results are the same. The
only difference between the **EXACT**
function and comparison with an equal sign is in row 6. The cell **B6** is a text string (number with an
apostrophe in front). If you compare them with an equal sign, you will get
FALSE, but function **EXACT** returns
TRUE.

## Different matches with MATCH

The **MATCH** function works differently than the EXACT function. Instead of returning TRUE or FALSE it returns the position of a lookup value in a row, column, or table.

`=MATCH (lookup_value, lookup_array, [match_type])`

The MATCH function takes the match type as the third optional parameter. The default value is 0 and it means the exact match.

### Example with ascending order

Let’s take a look at how the match types work in practice.

**Match types:**

**1**: This parameter
looks for the largest value that is smaller or equal to the lookup value. The
values in the lookup array have to be placed in ascending order.

**0**: Returns the
exact value. If there is none, it returns the #N/A error. In this case, the
value is in the second row of the lookup array (**A3**).

**-1**: With this
parameter, the values in the lookup array must be displayed in descending
order, otherwise this parameter will return an error. This is the case in this
example.

### Example with descending order

The order of the lookup array was changed. Look, how it affected the results of the formulas.

**Match types:**

**1**: The function
with this parameter returns an error because the lookup array is not in ascending
order.

**0**: The number 20
is located in the 5^{th} row of the lookup array (**A6**).

**-1**: The lookup
array is displayed in descending order, so this time, the formula works. For the
number 20, it returns 5^{th} position (**A6**) and for 25, it looks for the smallest value, greater than 25,
which is 30. 30 is located in the 4^{th} row of the lookup array.