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Identifying Duplicate Values in an Excel List


You may not realize that it's possible to identify duplicate items within an Excel list with just a few mouse clicks. You can assign a font and/or cell color to duplicate cells, and then use Excel's Filter feature to collapse the list down to just the duplicate items. To get started:

  1. Select the range of cells that may contain duplicate items, either with your mouse or by pressing Ctrl-A to select the entire list (assuming there are no blank rows within the list).
  2. Choose the Conditional Formatting command on Excel's Home menu.
  3. Choose the Highlight Cells Rules command.
  4. Choose Duplicate Values.
  5. Click OK within the Duplicate Values dialog box to identify the duplicate values.
  6. Duplicate values in the list will now be identified.

If you wish to collapse the list down to show just the duplicate values:

  1. Right-click on one of the duplicate cells.
  2. Choose the Filter command, and then Filter by Selected Cell's Color.

To restore the entire list again, click either the Clear command on Excel's Data menu to keep the filter arrows in place, or click the Filter command to turn off the feature entirely.

If you wish to remove conditional formatting from your worksheet:

  1. Choose Conditional Formatting from Excel's Home menu.
  2. Choose the Clear Rules command.
  3. Choose either Clear Rules from Selected Cells to remove conditional formatting from a specific area, or Clear Rules from Entire Sheet if you wish to remove all conditional formatting.


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