Identifying Duplicate Values in an Excel List, Part 2

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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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About David Ringstrom

About David Ringstrom

David H. Ringstrom, CPA, is an author and nationally recognized instructor who teaches scores of webinars each year. His Excel courses are based on over 25 years of consulting and teaching experience. His mantra is “Either you work Excel, or it works you.” David offers spreadsheet and database consulting services nationwide.

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By John Galt
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

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

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By David Ringstrom
to SanjayDarji
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

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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By Probuddha
to juliagumm
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

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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By ExcelDutchess
to juliagumm
Jun 26th 2015 01:12

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

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By Eassplus
Jun 26th 2015 01:11

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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By Dracula
Jun 26th 2015 01:12

How do you sort the result by color?

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By Striker
May 19th 2016 08:24

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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By anas447
Sep 13th 2017 09:14

Hi David,

i have a list of 19-digit-barcodes. Checking the duplication using conditional formatting is not working as it contains 19 digits.

Could you please give us a solution for this?

Thanks

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