Software

Office challenge: How do you hide duplicate values in one column without filtering the entire row?

Learn last week's solution for selecting multiple instances of similar text and try your chances with an Excel challenge for hiding duplicate text.

While discussing Excel tidbits with a few colleagues, someone stumped me — momentarily. They wanted to hide duplicate values in a column. Of course, my initial response was to filter the data, but that wouldn't work. They didn't want to filter out any rows. They wanted all rows to remain visible, while also hiding duplicate values in a single column. How would you do this?

Last week, we asked…

How can you select multiple instances of the same type of data in Word? As I explained last week, I often need to reduce a book's annotated table of content to just chapter titles. A simple cut and paste would do the job, but as I perform this task often, that route's inefficient. I asked you how you would do this task. Jeff7181 offered an interesting solution that uses Word's Find feature:

  1. From the Edit menu, choose find.
  2. Check the Highlight Items Found In option.
  3. Select Main Document.
  4. Click More.
  5. Click Format and select the font settings you want to find.
  6. Click Find All.
Once Find selects all the instances of the font in question, a simple cut and paste into a new document does the rest. Jeff7181's solutions was close to my own. It's worth noting that Jeff7181 specified a search for a specific font, but in step 5 (above) you can specify several options, include styles. Now, here's my way:

  1. Display the task pane by pressing [Ctrl]+[F1] or  choose Task Pane from the View menu.
  2. Open the drop-down list in the title bar. (It usually says Getting Started.)
  3. Choose Styles And Formatting from the drop-down list.
  4. Find, but don't select the style that defines the text you want to select. For instance, in my case, I use Heading 1 to define chapter titles.

  1. From the style's drop-down list, choose Select All x Instances.
  2. Return to the document and press [Ctrl]+C or choose Copy from the Edit menu.
  3. Open a new document by clicking New Blank Document on the toolbar. Or simply move to a clear spot in the current document. Where you place the selected text is up to you.
  4. Press [Ctrl]+V or choose Paste from the Edit menu.

Word will copy all instances of text defined by the style you choose in the Styles And Formatting task pane. Well, to tell the truth, my way requires only one fewer click than Jeff7181's, and his solution lets you choose text based on more options than just style. Thanks, Jeff7181, for another solution that's both flexible and easy!

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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