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Excel has a feature called tables, which adds some nice features to sorting and filtering. And if you watched the movie on basic sorting and multiple fields sorting, I think you'll like some of the features that tables add. Well, to convert this area to a table, we go to the Insert tab. Now, this is kind of a misnomer, because we're going to click Table under the Insert tab, but we're not actually inserting anything. We're simply taking this whole range of data and converting it to a table. So click anywhere in here. It doesn't matter which cell you select.
Click Table and you see Excel correctly guesses what area we have for our table. And you want to make sure this box is selected because we do have headers there. And click OK. Now, scroll up a bit and you see Excel puts in these little down arrows so we can sort and filter. As long as you have one of these cells selected, you'll be in the Table Tools section in the Design tab. So let's do some sorting and filtering before anything. Maybe let's go over here to State and click State and we can sort from A to Z or maybe we want to see just one state.
I'll just select that and choose Connecticut and OK. So this is all kind of basic sorting and filtering. Let's remove that filter. Just click that filter and clear that off. One of the really nice features of tables is that we can remove duplicates. Well, let's sort Last Name. Click that dropdown under Last Name and let's sort from A to Z. And as you look through here, you see we have duplicates. Here we have two records that are the same. Here we have two records that are the same, and here we have two records that are the same.
When I say the same, I mean exactly the same. These are duplicates. First Name, Last Name, all the way across. Now, if you go down, you see here we have three records that at first glance, they look like they're exactly the same, but take a look at the Rate. The rate is incremented for each one. And that's probably just a data entry mistake. So what we want to do is we want to find some way that we can remove all of these duplicates. So here's what we do. Let's go up to Remove Duplicates and you see we have all of these fields selected.
We can just scroll down and see all of these fields are selected, and it again correctly guesses that we have headers. What that means is that Excel is going to compare the values of all of these fields when it's comparing to see which are duplicates and which are not. So just click OK. And it tells us 5 duplicates found, 37 unique remain. But keep that 5 in mind here. So click OK. Now, when you go through you see those duplicates that we had before are not there until you come down to this one, to Rampulla.
And now you see that because the Rate is different for each one, Excel did not regard these as duplicate records. Well, let's undo. You can just click your Undo button on top. I'll just press Ctrl+Z. And when you do that, we have our duplicates back here. We can see duplicates are there. Again, duplicates are there again and so on. So again just click somewhere in this table area and now again choose Remove Duplicates, but in here click Unselect All. And now, let's select just Last Name, First Name, and Department.
What that means is Excel will compare only these three fields and ignore the other fields when deciding which records are duplicates and which are not duplicates. Click OK. Now, remember before it told us 5 duplicates found. Here it told us 7. Click OK. And there you see those duplicates are gone and when you go down to Rampulla, you see those duplicates are gone. And it shows just one of them. Now, we can also format this. Again, make sure you are somewhere in this data area and go over here to Table Styles. And because we have our Two Trees Olive Oil Company, you might want to give this more of a greenish look here or maybe something even like this.
That gives us a nice olive feel. Well, if you don't like the fact that we have these little drop-downs here, we can turn these back to a regular range. So again, we're staying in the Design tab of Table tools. Click over here Convert to Range. Confirm Yes that we do. And now you notice the formatting remains, but it's a regular range. We don't have all of those dropdown lists. Now, this feature is useful in other ways also. For example, if you manage an email list and you have lots and lots of email addresses, this is a handy way of removing duplicate email addresses so you don't send people the same piece of mail more than once.
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