Identifying Duplicate Values in an Excel List, Part 2


Spreadsheets and graphs on a desk

In a previous article I explained how you can use Conditional Formatting in Excel 2007 and later to highlight duplicate values with just a couple of mouse-clicks. Although easy to implement, this technique identifies all instances of a duplicate value. A reader then asked how to format only the second and any subsequent instances. In this article I'll explain how, along with instructions on identifying duplicate values in Excel 2003 and earlier.

Figure 1: Conditional Formatting can identify the second and subsequent instances of duplicate values.

Let's say that we have a list of names, such as shown in Figure 1. Our goal is to highlight the second and any subsequent times that a name appears more than once on a list. To do so, we'll select the names, and then carry out these steps:

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not helpful. an example formula and result would have helped.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I'm puzzled, though because I explained this formula =COUNTIF($A$1:A1,A1)>1 and the figure shows the result.

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Very helpful, thanks! I am wondering what to use if I want a formula to ignore the second instance of a value, but highlight the first?

Also what would this do - =COUNTIF($A$1:A2,A2)>1 ?

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How could I create an automatic list of duplicates in an Excel Column so it would show: Lucas, Annabelle, Roger ?

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Good day,
The example is helpful for me, but I have a Question, is there any chance to see the first instance just after enter de duplicate one? Because I have a lot of data in the same column. I have for example Surname and First name in A and B column but I want to see the Surname of the person when I enter a dupliclate First Name, in this example is easy to see because there are just a few data but is difficult to see it when is huge.

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How do you sort the result by color?

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Use the Sort command in Excel 2007 and later and change the Values entry to Cell Color. You can then create a hierarchy if you have multiple colors. You can't sort by color in Excel 2003 and earlier.

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I copied the formula exactly and even tried using the exact data you had entered in the sample and absolutely nothing happened. How could that be?

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