Monday, June 1, 2009

Removing Duplicates

When it comes to removing unwanted duplicates in a database, users of Excel 2007 have it easy. The following is a best practice to accomplish this useful task:

To get an idea of what you are working with, first, use the Conditional Formatting:

1. Select the key field(s) in the database containing the possible duplicates
2. Go to Conditional Formatting command in the Style group on the Home
3. Choose Highlight Cell Rules / Duplicate Values
4. Choose a Cell Format (bright yellow fill is good for this purpose) and click OK

If you then want to remove the highlighted duplicates you can do so quite simply by:

1. Select the entire database (be careful not to select any self-generating key fields)
2. Go to the Data tab in the Data Tools group and click Remove Duplicates
3. Select all of the columns and click OK
4. A message will pop up telling you how many (if any) values were found and removed

This is a good way (Easy is always good) to help maintain the integrity of your database. Give it a try: Get rid of those Duplicates!

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