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Excel Remove Duplicates

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Remove Duplicates

Problem: I have a data set in which I would like to find every unique combination of customer and product.

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Figure 718 Find unique combinations of customer and product.

Strategy: Although there are several ways to find unique values (advanced filters, pivot tables, Microsoft Query, COUNTIF), Microsoft added a new feature to Excel 2007 called Remove Duplicates.

Remove Duplicates is a powerful feature—sometimes too powerful because it very quickly and destructively removes the duplicated rows.

To use the Remove Duplicates command, follow these steps:

1. Make a copy of your data. Copy it to a new range, a new worksheet, or a new workbook.

2. Select one cell in your data set.

3. Select Data, Remove Duplicates. Excel will display the Remove Duplicates dialog.

4. Click Unselect All. Select Product and Customer.

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Figure 719 Choose which columns should be analyzed.

5. Click OK. Excel will confirm how many duplicates were found and removed.

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Figure 720 Duplicates removed.

Results: Excel will delete hundreds of rows of data! If you didn’t make a copy in step 1 and you need that data, press Ctrl+Z to undo.

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