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Find Duplicates in Excel With Ease: Here’s How

Do you often work with numbers? It can be difficult to find duplicates in Excel manually within a huge entry of data. However, there are other methods in MS excel to make your task easier. Read to know more.

Why is MS Excel used for data manipulation?

Spreadsheet Structure: Excel organizes data in a tabular format with rows and columns, making it easy to enter, view, and manipulate data. The grid-like structure allows users to perform calculations, apply formulas, and create relationships between data points.

Formulas and Functions: Excel provides a wide range of built-in formulas and functions that enable users to perform complex calculations, statistical analysis, data transformations, and more. These functions can be applied across multiple cells, making it efficient for data manipulation tasks.

Data Sorting and Filtering: Excel allows users to sort data based on specific criteria, such as alphabetical order, numerical values, or custom sorting rules. It also provides filtering options, allowing users to display specific subsets of data based on conditions or criteria which you can learn from Excel training from STL. It also provides filtering options, allowing users to display specific subsets of data based on conditions or criteria.

Data Validation: Excel offers data validation features, allowing users to define rules and restrictions for data entry. This helps maintain data integrity by preventing invalid or inconsistent data from being entered. Users can specify input ranges, create drop-down lists, and set data validation rules for individual cells or entire columns.

Data Analysis: Excel provides various tools for data analysis, including PivotTables, charts, and conditional formatting. PivotTables allow users to summarize and analyze large datasets by creating custom reports, performing calculations, and exploring data from different angles. Charts help visualize data trends and patterns, while conditional formatting highlights data based on specific conditions.

Data Import and Export: Excel supports various file formats, including CSV, TXT, XML, and databases. This flexibility allows users to import data from external sources or export data to other systems for further analysis or integration with other software.

Automation and Macros: Excel allows users to automate repetitive tasks using macros. Macros are recorded sequences of actions that can be replayed to perform complex operations automatically. This feature helps save time and effort when dealing with large datasets or performing repetitive data manipulation tasks.

User-Friendly Interface: Excel has a user-friendly interface that is familiar to many users. It provides a range of tools, menus, and ribbons that make it relatively easy for users to navigate, manipulate data, and perform various tasks without requiring extensive programming knowledge.

How to compare two Excel sheets for duplicates?

There are many ways how to compare two Excel files for duplicates. Some of them are:

Using Conditional formatting:

  • Select the range of cells where you want to check for duplicates. This can be a single column or a larger range that includes multiple columns.
  • Go to the “Home” tab in the Excel ribbon.
  • In the “Styles” group, click on “Conditional Formatting.”
  • From the dropdown menu, choose “Highlight Cells Rules” and then select “Duplicate Values.”
  • A dialog box titled “Duplicate Values” will appear. By default, it highlights duplicate values in the selected range.
  • Choose a formatting style to apply to the duplicate values. You can select from various options, such as highlighting the duplicates in a different color or adding custom formatting.
  • Click “OK” to apply the conditional formatting.

One can customize the conditional formatting further by modifying the rules. You can also add additional rules or delete existing ones in the “Conditional Formatting Rules Manager” dialog box.

Direct Method:

  • Select the range of cells that you want to check for duplicates. This can be a single column or a larger range that includes multiple columns.
  • Go to the “Data” tab in the Excel ribbon.
  • In the “Data Tools” group, click on “Remove Duplicates.”
  • A dialog box titled “Remove Duplicates” will appear, showing the selected range of cells.
  • By default, Excel considers all columns in the selected range for finding duplicates. You can uncheck any columns that you don’t want to include in the duplicate check.
  • Click “OK” to remove the duplicates.

Excel will analyze the selected range of cells and compare two excel sheets for duplicates, keeping only the unique entries. The remaining data will be adjusted accordingly. After removing the duplicates, Excel will display a message indicating the number of duplicate values found and the number of unique values that remain.

Using CountIf:

  • Insert a new column next to the column containing the data you want to check for duplicates.
  • In the first cell of the new column, enter the formula “=COUNTIF(range, cell)”, where “range” is the range of cells in the data column, and “cell” is the cell you want to check for duplicates.
  • Drag the formula down to apply it to the entire column. The formula will automatically adjust for each row.
  • The cells in the new column will display the count of occurrences for each value in the data column. Any count greater than 1 indicates a duplicate value.
  • Filter or sort the new column to display only the cells with a count greater than 1, highlighting the duplicates.
  • Select the range of duplicate values (including the new column) and delete them.

By using the COUNTIF function, you can identify duplicates by checking the occurrence of each value in the data column. This allows excel find duplicates in two sheets and eliminate them.

Using Pivot Table:

  1. Select the range of cells that contains the data you want to remove duplicates from.
  2. Go to the “Insert” tab in the Excel ribbon. In the “Tables” group, click on “PivotTable.”
  3. In the “Create PivotTable” dialog box, ensure that the correct range is selected for the data you want to analyze.
  4. Choose where you want the PivotTable to be placed. You can select a new worksheet or an existing worksheet.
  5. Click “OK” to create the PivotTable.
  6. In the PivotTable Field List, you will see the field(s) corresponding to the column(s) containing the data you want to remove duplicates from.
  7. Drag the field(s) that you want to remove duplicates from into either the “Rows” or “Columns” section of the PivotTable Field List.
  8. Excel will automatically group the values based on the selected field(s).
  9. Right-click on any of the grouped values in the PivotTable and choose “Expand Entire Field” from the context menu.
  10. This will expand the PivotTable to display each individual value.
  11. Select the entire column containing the expanded values.
  12. Go to the “Data” tab in the Excel ribbon and click on “Remove Duplicates” in the “Data Tools” group.
  13. A dialog box titled “Remove Duplicates” will appear, showing the expanded values
  14. Click “OK” to remove the duplicates from the expanded values.

Frequently Asked Questions about how to find duplicates in Excel

How do I highlight duplicates in Excel using conditional formatting?

Select the range of cells you want to check for duplicates, go to the “Home” tab, click on “Conditional Formatting,” and choose “Highlight Cells Rules” followed by “Duplicate Values.” Select the formatting style and click “OK” to highlight the duplicates.

Can I find duplicates in multiple columns in Excel?

Yes, you can find duplicates in multiple columns in Excel by selecting all the columns you want to consider when checking for duplicates. Use conditional formatting, formulas, or the “Remove Duplicates” feature to identify and remove duplicates across multiple columns.

What if I want to find duplicates based on specific criteria or conditions?

You can use advanced techniques like combining formulas, using the COUNTIFS function, or creating custom VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) macros to find duplicates based on specific criteria or conditions in Excel.

Can I automatically remove duplicates in Excel without manual intervention?

Yes, you can automatically remove duplicates in Excel without manual intervention by using VBA macros or third-party add-ins that offer advanced duplicate removal capabilities.

What happens when I remove duplicates in Excel?

When you remove duplicates in Excel, the software analyzes the selected range of cells and eliminates any duplicate values, keeping only the unique entries. The remaining data is adjusted accordingly, and the original order may change.

Conclusion

Excel’s versatility, ease of use, and powerful features make it a popular choice for data manipulation tasks, from simple calculations to complex data analysis and reporting. One should be aware of how to find duplicates in Excel between two sheets to avoid any unnecessary hassle.

David Scott
David Scott
Digital Marketing Specialist .
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