How you can discover duplicates in Excel

Picture: Viktor Pazemin/Adobe Inventory

Within the duplicate world, definition means every little thing. That’s as a result of a reproduction is subjective to the context of its associated knowledge. Duplicates can happen inside a single column, throughout a number of columns or full information. There’s nobody function or approach that can discover duplicates in each case. On this article, I’ll present you discover duplicates in Excel.

SEE: Home windows, Linux, and Mac instructions everybody must know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

I’m utilizing Microsoft 365 on a Home windows 64 bit-system, however you should utilize earlier variations. In your comfort, you may obtain the demonstration .xlsx and .xls recordsdata. Excel for the net doesn’t help superior filters and limits formatting, however you may apply conditional formatting guidelines.

How you can filter for duplicate information in Excel

Maybe the best option to discover duplicates is to make use of Excel’s superior filter. It’s versatile and might simply discover duplicate rows. What you do with the result’s as much as you. For instance, we’ll use a complicated filter to repeat the ensuing information — sans duplicates to a different location. That approach you continue to have the unique knowledge and a separate set of distinctive information.

On this state of affairs, the phrase discover is a bit deceptive. This function gained’t discover the duplicates: It is going to filter them from the outcomes, supplying you with a singular set of information.

Let’s take a look at a sheet that has two information which might be duplicated in a Desk object (Determine A). I like to recommend utilizing Tables, however this function will work with an abnormal knowledge vary. Even in a small sheet, discovering duplicates visually is a little bit of a job, and also you’re apt to fail. To quickly take away duplicates from the info set, use Excel’s superior filter function as follows:

  1. Choose any cell inside the info set.
  2. Click on the Knowledge tab after which click on Superior Filter within the Type & Filter group.
  3. Choose Copy To One other Location within the Motion part.
  4. Test the Record Vary to verify Excel accurately references the unique knowledge.
  5. Enter a duplicate vary within the Copy To regulate. I selected H2.
  6. Test Distinctive Data Solely (Determine B) and click on OK.

Determine A

Picture: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. These Microsoft Excel information have two duplicates within the Desk.

Determine B

Picture: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. Remember to choose the Test Distinctive Data Solely choice.

Determine C

Picture: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. The filtered checklist is brief two information as a result of this Excel function eliminated duplicates.

Excel will copy a filtered checklist of distinctive information (Determine C) to the vary you laid out in Step 5. At this level, you may exchange the unique knowledge with the filtered checklist if you wish to take away duplicates. As a rule, I don’t suggest deleting knowledge, even in case you assume you’ll by no means discuss with it once more, however that’s as much as you.

One factor you won’t discover immediately is that the Fee values within the filtered set are literal values. Within the authentic knowledge, that column comprises an expression. Be looking out for a majority of these points — in case you plan on utilizing the filtered set going ahead, you should exchange the values with the expression so new information will accurately calculate the commissions.

How you can format duplicate values in Excel

Discovering duplicates in a single column or throughout a number of columns is a little more tough than filtering for a complete report. Utilizing Excel’s conditional formatting to focus on duplicates in a single column is one option to discover them rapidly, though there’s much less motive to delete duplicates on this state of affairs. Let’s format duplicate fee values as follows:

  1. Choose cell F3:F13.
  2. On the Residence tab, click on Conditional Formatting within the Kinds group.
  3. Select New Rule within the dropdown.
  4. Within the prime pane, choose the Use A Formulation to Decide Which Cells to Format choice.
  5. Within the decrease pane, enter =COUNTIF(F:F,F3)>1. (The interval on the finish is grammatical and never a part of the Excel method.)
  6. Click on the Format button, click on the Font tab, select Crimson, and click on OK (Determine D).
  7. Click on OK to return to the worksheet.

Determine D

Picture: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. Enter the Excel method and select a format.

Determine E

Picture: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. The conditional formatting rule highlights duplicate commissions.

The conditional format will spotlight any worth in column F that’s repeated (Determine E). The Excel operate, COUNTIF() returns a conditional rely. On this case, it compares the present fee to all the opposite fee values and returns True if there’s a couple of. In order for you Excel to focus on solely the copies, leaving the primary incidence of the worth unaltered, enter the Excel method =COUNTIF($F$3:$F3, F3)>1 in Step 5.

This conditional rule works nice for a single column. How can we discover duplicate values throughout a number of columns? For this job, we’ll use two Excel helper formulation: One to concatenate the columns you’re evaluating; a second to rely the duplicates. Let’s suppose you need to discover duplicates for the identify and fee. To start, enter the primary expressions into H3 and replica to the remaining cells:


The structured referencing is the results of utilizing a Desk object to retailer the info. If you happen to’re utilizing a knowledge vary, enter =D3&F3.

Subsequent, in cell I3 enter the next Excel method and replica it to accommodate the remaining checklist:


There are actually two helper columns in place (Determine F). The Excel IF() operate returns “Duplicate,” when the Excel operate, COUNTIF() finds a couple of incidence of the concatenated values in column H.

Determine F

Picture: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. We’ll base a conditional formatting rule on column H.

You possibly can cease right here or apply a brand new conditional format based mostly on the Excel method in column I to focus on duplicates as follows:

  1. Choose cell B3:F13.
  2. On the Residence tab, click on Conditional Formatting within the Kinds group.
  3. Select New Rule within the dropdown.
  4. Within the prime pane, choose the Use A Formulation To Decide Which Cells To Format choice.
  5. Within the decrease pane, enter =$I3="Duplicate".
  6. Click on the Format button, click on the Font tab, select Crimson, and click on OK (Determine G)
  7. Click on OK to return to the worksheet.

Determine G

Picture: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. Enter the rule and format.

The conditional rule highlights the primary incidence of a reproduction in each the Identify and Fee columns (Determine H). As a result of the rule codecs the whole report, customers may assume that the whole report has a reproduction, so that will require a bit of coaching. Within the second helper method, you possibly can show DuplicateNameCommission as an alternative of solely Duplicate, however that appears a bit excessive.

Determine H

Picture: Susan Harkins/TechRepublic. Two information have duplicate values in each the Personnel and Fee columns.

None of those strategies works with all forms of duplicate knowledge. Every state of affairs, whether or not you’re evaluating a complete report, a single column or a number of columns will dictate which methodology you select. There are different methods to search out duplicates, however these strategies are fast and straightforward.

Editor’s word: This text has been up to date.

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