Duplicate values are bound to happen from time to time and you need to know how to find duplicates in Excel. Luckily for you, this online Excel training tutorial will help you understand how this is done.
There are a few ways to find these duplicates. The easiest way to filter for duplicates is to use the advanced filter feature. However, you can also use conditional formatting and the countif function.
This feature is best to use when you want to remove all duplicates from your original spreadsheet.
- Select the data range you would like to filter. If the range is the entire worksheet then click on the select all button in the top-left corner of the worksheet.
- In the data tab of the ribbon, select advanced (highlighted) from the filter box.
- The advanced filter box will pop up with the previously selected range already entered into the list range.
4. First decide if you want to replace the existing worksheet data with the newly filtered data or if you want the newly filtered data to be copied to another location. If you are replacing the current data with the filtered data select “filter the list, in place” and check the box marked “unique records only” and hit OK. The duplicate cells will immediately be erased. If you do not want to delete all duplicates right away, then select “copy to another location”. With this option you will be prompted to select a range of cells within or without the current worksheet to copy the results into. Finally, click the box for “unique records only”, click OK and only the non-duplicate cells will be copied to the location you set it to copy to. Now you can delete the original data with duplicates if you so wish.
This is not the only way to locate duplicates within Excel. Continue reading this segment of our Excel for beginners training materials to obtain a better understanding.
How to Find Duplicates in Excel Using Conditional Formatting
Excel training courses often cover conditional formatting, a function that is useful to find duplicates in Excel. Conditional formatting identifies trends and patterns within your data using bars, colours and icons to highlight important values. It’s found in the Home tab of the ribbon.
- Select the data range you would like to search and click on the conditional formatting button.
- Click on the “highlight cells rules” and select “duplicate values”.
3. The duplicate values box will pop up. The options within this box are to first select whether duplicate or unique values will be highlighted. Second you can select what style of highlighting you would like applied to either the duplicates or the unique values. Once all formatting has been selected, click OK and you have just completed using conditional formatting.
With this basic knowledge of how to find duplicates in Excel, you can use conditional formatting down one column or across the worksheet. Keep in mind that Excel will highlight all duplicates up and down each column but not necessarily check for true duplicates across the rows.
As shown in the example to the right in this Excel tutorial, the first conditional format (green) was only told to check column A for duplicates. The second (red) was told to check columns B and C in the range. Row 11 is not a duplicate, however, as the city is the same as other cities and with conditional formatting it flagged it as a duplicate. To resolve this issue, use the countif formula to find duplicates within one or multiple columns and rows.
Use countif to locate the true duplicates by creating a column on the right of the column C and including all the data from columns A, B and C for each row. Enter the following formula into column D, row 2: =A2&B2&C2 this will create a cell with all three columns inside it. Then in column E, row 2 enter an if statement telling Excel to check down column D for any duplicates and if found put the word “dupe” in column E. =IF(COUNTIF(D$2:D$14,D2)>1,”Dupe”,””)
Repeat this formula down the rows and any duplicates will be labelled.
Now only the data that has the same Vendor Name, Address, and City will be labelled and can be deleted as necessary.
Now that there’s an understanding of how to filter for duplicates in Excel, the best recommendation would be to first use conditional formatting and get an idea of how many duplicate cells are within the worksheet. Then use the advanced filter method to filter for all the original/unique data cells and save them in a new workbook. You can always save the original and rename it “unfiltered” if you feel you would ever need to return to it.
Partake in Excel Training to Best Understand Filtering Duplicates
While the information above is certainly enough to help any Excel user gain an understanding of filtering duplicates in Excel, some additional Excel training could be necessary. This isn’t a bad thing. Developing a greater understanding of these concepts via online Excel classes is a valuable way to spend your time.