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Identifying duplicates


From:

Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts

with Dennis Taylor

Video: Identifying duplicates

Many Excel users these days are dealing with increasingly large lists of data, and suppose this list that we're looking at here was sent to you. I think pretty quickly you'd realize that in rows 4 and 5 you've got somebody with the same name. Well, that's certainly possible. But then you look and columns of the right, same building, same department same social security number--well, obviously we've got a problem here. We've got a duplicate record. Not uncommon these days. And Microsoft has recognized that, and as of Excel 2007, you will see that in the Data tab in the Ribbon, there's his choice called Remove Duplicates, and it's a great feature, and we'd definitely use it here.
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  1. 1m 36s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      20s
  2. 22m 45s
    1. Entering data or formulas in non-adjacent cells simultaneously
      2m 28s
    2. Converting formulas to values with a simple drag
      2m 34s
    3. Copying data or formulas down a column instantly
      2m 56s
    4. Adjusting all or selected column widths or row heights in a flash
      2m 21s
    5. Instantly displaying all worksheet formulas
      3m 16s
    6. Two quick shortcuts for creating charts
      1m 18s
    7. Print Preview
      1m 7s
    8. Instant date or time entry
      1m 16s
    9. Undo/Redo/Repeat
      3m 19s
    10. Zooming in and out quickly
      2m 10s
  3. 7m 37s
    1. Expanding and collapsing the Ribbon and Full Screen view
      1m 23s
    2. Keyboard command access
      2m 22s
    3. Quick Access toolbar display tips
      3m 52s
  4. 14m 30s
    1. Split screens and frozen titles in a flash
      5m 56s
    2. Repeating title creation and suppression
      6m 17s
    3. Customizing your display of Status Bar totals
      2m 17s
  5. 11m 31s
    1. Navigation shortcuts
      2m 30s
    2. Tips for navigating between workbooks
      3m 48s
    3. Navigating within worksheets
      5m 13s
  6. 11m 12s
    1. Selecting an entire row, column, or worksheet
      3m 20s
    2. Selecting noncontiguous ranges and visible cells only
      4m 39s
    3. Selecting the current region and moving around region corners
      3m 13s
  7. 22m 16s
    1. Accelerating data entry
      6m 27s
    2. Auto-Fill techniques for entering dates
      4m 59s
    3. Auto-Fill techniques for entering times
      2m 37s
    4. Custom lists for rapid entry
      5m 54s
    5. Cell editing tips
      2m 19s
  8. 12m 38s
    1. Copy/Move acceleration tips
      3m 27s
    2. Worksheet Copy/Move shortcuts
      2m 29s
    3. Dragging and inserting variations
      3m 47s
    4. Instantly displaying Paste Special options
      2m 55s
  9. 29m 31s
    1. Rapid formula creation
      3m 48s
    2. Selecting all cells that depend on the active cell
      5m 24s
    3. Selecting all cells that can affect the active cell
      2m 38s
    4. AutoSum shortcuts
      2m 57s
    5. Rounding shortcuts
      5m 14s
    6. Generating random numbers
      3m 16s
    7. Counting unique entries
      3m 11s
    8. Performing calculations without formulas
      3m 3s
  10. 17m 4s
    1. Controlling rows and columns
      5m 50s
    2. Realigning imported text
      2m 27s
    3. Handling blank cells
      4m 20s
    4. Collapsing and expanding detail
      4m 27s
  11. 28m 8s
    1. Formatting numbers
      6m 49s
    2. Aligning data
      3m 49s
    3. Adding background color for readability
      3m 43s
    4. Formatting data conditionally
      1m 54s
    5. Creating custom formats
      6m 23s
    6. Formatting periods over 24 hours
      3m 2s
    7. Applying strikethroughs and borders
      2m 28s
  12. 25m 46s
    1. Sorting shortcuts
      2m 40s
    2. Cleaning up spaces
      4m 47s
    3. Identifying duplicates
      6m 10s
    4. Splitting columns
      3m 57s
    5. Ensuring unique entries
      2m 46s
    6. Forcing dates to be weekdays only
      3m 56s
    7. Displaying unique items from large lists
      1m 30s
  13. 18m 38s
    1. Placing and adjusting charts
      2m 37s
    2. Creating chart titles from cell content
      2m 22s
    3. Creating and manipulating shapes
      5m 31s
    4. Linking and unlinking pictures
      8m 8s
  14. 9s
    1. Goodbye
      9s

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Watch the Online Video Course Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts
3h 43m Intermediate Aug 12, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts, Excel expert Dennis Taylor shares tips and shortcuts to vastly increase efficiency and get the full power out of Excel 2010. There are tips for working with the Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar, navigating workbooks and selecting cells, rapid data entry and editing, working with formulas, formatting data, working with charts, sorting data, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Creating charts with keyboard shortcuts
  • Converting formulas to values by dragging
  • Repeating Undo and Redo actions
  • Displaying formulas instantly
  • Navigating quickly through worksheets and across workbooks
  • Formatting numeric, and date/time data in a flash with keystroke shortcuts
  • Inserting dates or times instantly
  • Grouping rows or columns to create collapsible regions
  • Building data-entry shortcuts with Auto-fill
  • Displaying unique items from large lists
Subject:
Business
Software:
Excel
Author:
Dennis Taylor

Identifying duplicates

Many Excel users these days are dealing with increasingly large lists of data, and suppose this list that we're looking at here was sent to you. I think pretty quickly you'd realize that in rows 4 and 5 you've got somebody with the same name. Well, that's certainly possible. But then you look and columns of the right, same building, same department same social security number--well, obviously we've got a problem here. We've got a duplicate record. Not uncommon these days. And Microsoft has recognized that, and as of Excel 2007, you will see that in the Data tab in the Ribbon, there's his choice called Remove Duplicates, and it's a great feature, and we'd definitely use it here.

But there are times when you want to know something else about the duplicate data. You want to, in effect, know which records, or which rows, have been duplicated. In other words, let's not simply get rid of the duplicates, which is very efficient and fast; let's find out which records are duplicated. This particular list here only goes down to row 762. I say "only," but even that's a bit difficult to scan and have you figure out manually what's duplicated and what's not. So, let's do this by way of a special kind of formula called an array formula, and let's insert a new column to the left of column A. You can simply right-click on column A and choose Insert.

And we're going to be putting in a formula here, and although ultimately the column doesn't have to be that wide, let's make it wider now, so we can see this a bit better. And in English, here's what we're about to do. We're about to use an IF function to say, in effect, if this cell is equal to this one--of course we want to do this for the entire list, but let's just for the moment focus on these two--if these two cells have the same content. Now there could be, as suggested, people with the same name, but if that's true and the building is true--in other words they're both the same, and same thing with department, same thing the Social Security Number and theoretically we can go away across the column and say in effect, are all of these the same? Maybe if you say we only have to worry about this many of them, that's probably going to be sufficient.

In other words, if those are the same, we've got a duplicate. So, how might we do this? And let's just start right here in context. We'll essentially drag it downward, but also up a few cells as well. What we need to do here is to put in an IF function, and we in effect want to say, are the two names cells the same, the Building cells, the Department cells, the Social Security Number cells? We're going to be using an IF function. If I were to put in right now B4=B5, we're more or less on the right path, but then we'd have to also, after putting in a comma, check to see if the C4 equals C5. Do this for column D, column E, and maybe in a real-life situation all the way out to column M or N or however far it goes.

You can begin to see how long this formula might be. We need also to put the word AND in front of the before. Now this is a function in its own right, but it's very often used within an IF function. Here's a shortcut that you wouldn't exactly guess. Instead of putting in these constant formulas here, let's just change all this to B, and then we'll do it by dragging B4 through E4 = B5 through E5. Right parenthesis.

We're not finished yet. This is a compound condition, comma. When all of those four tests are equal to one another, what do we have here? We've got a duplicate. Let's just put in "Duplicate," comma. When they're not all the same--in other words if any one of those pairings is not equal to the other one-- we want to put in "Unique." In other words, the records are not the same. Double quote. Right parenthesis. Now, if you've never worked with an array formula and you saw this being explained and you missed the last step, you'd be lost, because most formulas, we press Enter.

That's not very valuable. Jumping back in to edit this. An array formula which allows us to handle multiple sets of data, you might call them parallel sets of data, works only when you complete the formula, not by pressing Enter, but by pressing Control+Shift+Enter, as I'm doing right now. And that is a duplicate. It's comparing these four cells with these four, one by one. Once again, here's what the formula looks like. What I'm going to do first here is click in the cell and look in the formula bar.

An array formula is indicated by curly braces. Now, I didn't type these, and you never type them in these kinds of formulas. And when you edit them, either by clicking in the formula bar or by double-clicking here, you don't see them. And some of you are probably saying to yourself, "Is he making this up?" But as he says it, no I'm not. This is the way it works. These are array formulas. You must press Control+Shift+Enter to make them work. I'm going to drag this manually up into these two cells, and we can see clearly here that in this formula here that compares these two, that's not a duplicate.

In this formula here that compares the entries in rows 3 and 4, that's not a duplicate. But this one surely is. And double-click to copy this downward, all way down the column. And as we scroll through here, here and there we will see a duplicate. There's one there, Angus Kent. And we will see a few more here. So we've identified which ones are duplicates. We haven't eliminated them, even though for many people that's the most important thing. But at certain points you do want to know which ones are duplicate, and this array formula does get the job done.

I use this formula a lot, and not that long ago I forgot to put in the AND, so don't forget the AND, and don't forget all the double quotes as you see them here. So this is a great way to identify which records have been duplicated in a list.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts .


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Q: Where can I learn more about Excel formulas?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting Excel formulas on lynda.com.
 
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