How to Check for Duplicate Text in Excel

Finding duplicates in a spreadsheet can be tricky if you’re working with tons of data. Microsoft Office Excel includes tools that help you check for duplicate text in a few steps, whether you’re working in Microsoft Excel 2002, 2003 or 2007. It's a good idea to check for duplicates before you delete them from your spreadsheet. By spell-checking your work, you'll help Microsoft Excel zero in on any repetitive text, making it more effective in removing duplicates.

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Excel 2007

Step

Go to Microsoft Excel 2007 and open the worksheet you want to check.

Step

Insert a column header for the column you’re checking. Then select the column and click on the “Data” tab.

Step

Click on “Remove Duplicates” in the “Data Tools” group.

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Place check marks by “My data has headers” and the columns you want to verify. Then click on “OK” to remove the duplicates.

Excel 2003

Step

Open your document in Excel 2003. Make sure the column has a column header, then select the column you want to verify.

Step

Select “Data,” “Filter” and “Advanced Filter” from the toolbar.

Step

Accept the selected range or use your own. To change the list range, click on the “List Range” button and select your range on the spreadsheet.

Step

Select “Copy to another location” under “Action” and place a check mark by “Unique records only.” Click on the “Copy to” button and choose the location where the updated data is placed. Then click on "OK" to apply the update.

Step

Double-check that the updated list looks correct, then select the old column and delete it.