Excel Formula To Find Number Of Duplicates In One Column Find Duplicate Entries in Excel

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Find Duplicate Entries in Excel

Working with large spreadsheets with lots of data can sometimes result in duplicate entries and this can ruin all your statistical calculations. Correcting it manually will cost you a lot of time and efforts. What do you do after that?

Fortunately as always, Excel has a brilliant solution to this problem. It combines 2 properties to get results.

a) Finding duplicate entries b) Highlighting those entries for quick identification.

I tried it myself, and was so impressed that I couldn’t resist noting it for later use.

Here are step by step instructions for better understanding.

Step 1) The process works column wise, so focus on 1 column at a time. Take column “A” as an example. Can be repeated on the same worksheet.

Step 2) If you have a list of data in column “A” then select the first cell. This cell will set the condition to search for duplicates in the file. After the cell is selected, go to the menu bar and follow Format > Conditional Formatting. This will open a new dialog window.

Step 3) In this new window, select “Formula”. A text box appears, prompting you to enter the formula. Enter this formula in the text box:

=COUNTIF(A:A, A1) >1 (if remove any spaces) The function “COUNTIF” will search through column “A” and find any duplicate entries in the column.

Step 4) Now click the “Format” button in the “Conditional Formatting” dialog box. This will expand the window and present you with some formatting options. Select the highlighting color for duplicate entries from the sub-menu “Patterns”. Click on “OK”.

Step 5) Copy the cell that holds the condition (A1). Press “Ctrl + spacebar” to select the entire column. From the “Edit” menu, click “Paste Special.” Select “Formats” from the dialog box and then click “OK” to copy the conditional formatting to the entire column. This should highlight all duplicate entries in the column.

Step 6) Once all entries are found, you can decide to keep, delete or cut and paste them if needed later. 🙂

Step 7) If you need to perform the same function on any other column, the process remains the same, just replace all “A” in the formula with the column alphabet.

Simple isn’t it?

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