How To Highlight Duplicates In Excel

Productivity Software


Hey there! Let’s dive into the world of Excel and learn how to highlight duplicates. As a data enthusiast, I often find myself working with large datasets, and identifying duplicates can be a crucial part of data cleaning and analysis.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the various methods to highlight duplicates in Excel, with a mix of practical tips and personal insights gained from my own experience.

Conditional Formatting for Highlighting Duplicates

Conditional formatting is a powerful feature in Excel that allows you to highlight cells based on specific criteria. To highlight duplicates, I often use the following steps:

  1. First, select the range of cells where you want to identify duplicates.
  2. Then, navigate to the “Home” tab, click on “Conditional Formatting,” and select “Highlight Cells Rules.”
  3. Choose “Duplicate Values” from the dropdown menu.
  4. Customize the formatting style by selecting your preferred formatting options, such as background color or font color.
  5. Click “OK,” and Excel will instantly highlight all the duplicate values within the selected range.

Using Formulas to Identify and Highlight Duplicates

Another method I frequently use involves Excel formulas to identify duplicates and then apply conditional formatting to highlight them. Here’s how I usually do it:

  1. Utilize the =COUNTIF function to check for duplicates. For example, if your data is in column A, you can use the formula =COUNTIF($A$1:$A$100,A1)>1 to identify duplicates.
  2. Once you have the formula in place, apply conditional formatting using the “New Rule” option under the “Conditional Formatting” menu.
  3. Choose the formatting style and criteria to highlight the duplicate values, and voila! You have your duplicates visually highlighted.

Filtering for Duplicate Values

Excel’s filtering capabilities can also help in identifying and working with duplicates. Here’s a quick rundown of how I often use filtering to highlight duplicates:

  1. Select the column containing the data for which you want to identify duplicates.
  2. Navigate to the “Data” tab and click on “Filter.”
  3. Once the filter dropdown appears, you can filter for duplicate values by unchecking “Select All” and then choosing “Duplicate Values.”
  4. The duplicate values will be filtered, making it easy to visually identify and work with them.


Highlighting duplicates in Excel is a valuable skill that can save you time and improve the accuracy of your data analysis. Whether using conditional formatting, formulas, or filtering, the ability to quickly spot duplicates can enhance the quality of your spreadsheets and enable more informed decision-making. So, go ahead and give these methods a try in your own Excel projects. Happy analyzing!