UNIQUE function - quick way to find unique values in Excel

The tutorial looks at how to get unique values in Excel by using the UNIQUE function and dynamic arrays. You will learn a simple formula to find unique values in a column or row, in multiple columns, based on conditions, and a lot more.

In the previous versions of Excel, extracting a list of unique values was a hard challenge. We have a special article that shows how to find uniques that occur just once, extract all distinct items in a list, ignore blanks, and more. Each task required a combined use of several functions and a multi-line array formula that only Excel gurus can fully understand.

The introduction of the UNIQUE function in Excel 365 has changed everything! What used to be a rocket science becomes as easy as ABC. Now, you don't need to be a formula expert to get unique values from a range, based on one or multiple criteria, and arrange the results in alphabetical order. All is done with simple formulas that everyone can read and adjust for your own needs.

Excel UNIQUE function

The UNIQUE function in Excel returns a list of unique values from a range or array. It works with any data type: text, numbers, dates, times, etc.

The function is categorized under Dynamic Arrays functions. The result is a dynamic array that automatically spills into the neighboring cells vertically or horizontally.

The syntax of the Excel UNIQUE function is as follows:

UNIQUE(array, [by_col], [exactly_once])

Where:

Array (required) - the range or array from which to return unique values.

By_col (optional) - a logical value indicating how to compare data:

• TRUE - compares data across columns.
• FALSE or omitted (default) - compares data across rows.

Exactly_once (optional) - a logical value that defines what values are considered unique:

• TRUE - returns values that occur only once, which is the database notion of unique.
• FALSE or omitted (default) - returns all distinct (different) values in the range or array.

Note. Currently the UNIQUE function is only available in Excel for Microsoft 365 and Excel 2021. Excel 2019, 2016 and earlier do not support dynamic array formulas, so the UNIQUE function is not available in these versions.

Basic UNIQUE formula in Excel

Below is an Excel unique values formula in its simplest form.

The goal is to extract a list of unique names from the range B2:B10. For this, we enter the following formula in D2:

`=UNIQUE(B2:B10)`

Please notice that the 2nd and 3rd arguments are omitted because the defaults work perfectly in our case - we are comparing the rows against each other and wish to return all the different names in the range.

When you press the Enter key to complete the formula, Excel will output the first found name in D2 spilling the other names into the cells below. As the result, you have all the unique values in a column:

In case your data is across the columns from B2 to I2, set the 2nd argument to TRUE to compare the columns against each other:

`=UNIQUE(B2:I2,TRUE)`

Type the above formula in B4, press Enter, and the results will spill horizontally into the cells to the right. Thus, you'll get the unique values in a row:

Tip. To find unique values in a multi-column arrays and return them in one column or row, use UNIQUE together with the TOCOL or TOROW function as shown in the below examples:

Excel UNIQUE function - tips and notes

UNIQUE is a new function and like other dynamic array functions has a few specificities that you should be aware of:

• If the array returned by UNIQUE is the final result (i.e. not passed to another function), Excel dynamically creates an appropriately sized range and populates it with the results. The formula needs to be entered only in one cell. It is important that you have enough empty cells down and/or to the right of the cell where you enter the formula, otherwise a #SPILL error occurs.
• The results update automatically when the source data changes. However, new entries that are added outside of the referenced array are not included in the formula unless you change the array reference. If you want the array to respond to the resizing of the source range automatically, then convert the range to an Excel table and use structured references, or create a dynamic named range.
• Dynamic arrays between different Excel files only work when both workbooks are open. If the source workbook is closed, a linked UNIQUE formula will return a #REF! error.
• Like other dynamic array functions, UNIQUE can only be used within a normal range, not a table. When put within Excel tables, it returns a #SPILL! error.

How to find unique values in Excel - formula examples

The below examples show some practical uses of the UNIQUE function in Excel. The main idea is to extract unique values or remove duplicates, depending on your viewpoint, in the simplest possible way.

Extract unique values that occur only once

To get a list of values that appear in the specified range exactly once, set the 3rd argument of UNIQUE to TRUE.

For example, to pull the names that are on the winners list one time, use this formula:

`=UNIQUE(B2:B10,,TRUE)`

Where B2:B10 is the source range and the 2nd argument (by_col) is FALSE or omitted because our data is organized in rows.

Find distinct values that occur more than once

If you are pursuing an opposite goal, i.e. are looking to get a list of values that appear in a given range more than one time, then use the UNIQUE function together with FILTER and COUNTIF:

UNIQUE(FILTER(range, COUNTIF(range, range)>1))

For example, to extract different names that occur in B2:B10 more than once, you can use this formula:

`=UNIQUE(FILTER(B2:B10, COUNTIF(B2:B10, B2:B10)>1))`

How this formula works:

At the heart of the formula, the FILTER function filters out duplicate entries based on the count of occurrences, returned by the COUNTIF function. In our case, the result of COUNTIF is this array of counts:

`{4;1;3;4;4;1;3;4;3}`

The comparison operation (>1) changes the above array to TRUE and FALSE values, where TRUE represents the items that appear more than once:

`{TRUE;FALSE;TRUE;TRUE;TRUE;FALSE;TRUE;TRUE;TRUE}`

This array is handed off to FILTER as the include argument, telling the function which values to include in the resulting array:

`{"Andrew";"David";"Andrew";"Andrew";"David";"Andrew";"David"}`

As you can notice, only the values corresponding to TRUE survive.

The above array goes to the array argument of UNIQUE, and after removing duplicates it outputs the final result:

`{"Andrew";"David"}`

Tip. In a similar fashion, you can filter unique values that occur more than twice (>2), more than three times (>3), etc. For this, simply change the number in the logical comparison.

Find unique values in multiple columns (unique rows)

In situation when you want to compare two or more columns and return the unique values between them, include all the target columns in the array argument.

For instance, to return the unique First name (column A) and Last name (column B) of the winners, we enter this formula in E2:

`=UNIQUE(A2:B10)`

Pressing the Enter key yields the following results:

To get unique rows, i.e. the entries with the unique combination of values in columns A, B and C, this is the formula to use:

`=UNIQUE(A2:C10)`

Amazingly simple, isn't it? :)

Get a list of unique values sorted in alphabetical order

How do you usually alphabetize in Excel? Right, by using the inbuilt Sort or Filter feature. The problem is you need to re-sort every time your source data changes, because unlike Excel formulas that recalculate automatically with every change in the worksheet, the features have to be re-applied manually.

With the introduction of dynamic array functions this problem is gone! What you need to do is simply warp the SORT function around a regular UNIQUE formula, like this:

SORT(UNIQUE(array))

For example, to extract unique values in columns A through C and arrange the results from A to Z, use this formula:

`=SORT(UNIQUE(A2:C10))`

Compared to the above example, the output is a lot easier to perceive and work with. For instance, we can clearly see that Andrew and David have been winners in two different sports.

Tip. In this example, we sorted the values in the 1st column from A to Z. These are the defaults of the SORT function, therefore the optional sort_index and sort_order arguments are omitted. If you want to sort the results by some other column or in a different order (from Z to A or from highest to smallest) set the 2nd and 3rd arguments as explained in the SORT function tutorial.

Find unique values in multiple columns and concatenate into one cell

When searching in multiple columns, by default, the Excel UNIQUE function outputs each value in a separate cell. Perhaps, you'll find it more convenient to have the results in a single cell?

To achieve this, instead of referencing the entire range, use the ampersand (&) to concatenate the columns and put the desired delimiter in between.

As an example, we are concatenating the first names in A2:A10 and the last names in B2:B10, separating the values with a space character (" "):

`=UNIQUE(A2:A10&" "&B2:B10)`

As the result, we have a list of full names in one column:

Get a list of unique values based on criteria

To extract unique values with condition, use the Excel UNIQUE and FILTER functions together:

• The FILTER function limits the data only to values that meet the condition.
• The UNIQUE function removes duplicates from the filtered list.

Here's the generic version of the filtered unique values formula:

UNIQUE(FILTER(array, criteria_range = criteria))

For this example, let's get a list of winners in a specific sport. For starters, we input the sport of interest in some cell, say F1. And then, use the below formula to get the unique names:

`=UNIQUE(FILTER(A2:B10, C2:C10=F1))`

Where A2:B10 is a range to search for unique values and C2:C10 is the range to check for the criteria.

Filter unique values based on multiple criteria

To filter unique values with two or more conditions, use the expressions like shown below to construct the required criteria for the FILTER function:

UNIQUE(FILTER(array, (criteria_range1 = criteria1) * (criteria_range2 = criteria2)))

The result of the formula is a list of unique entries for which all of the specified conditions are TRUE. In terms of Excel, this is called the AND logic.

To see the formula in action, let's get a list of unique winners for the sport in G1 (criteria 1) and under the age in G2 (criteria 2).

With the source range in A2:B10, sports in C2:C10 (criteria_range 1) and ages in D2:D10 (criteria_range 2), the formula takes this form:

`=UNIQUE(FILTER(A2:B10, (C2:C10=G1) * (D2:D10<G2)))`

And returns exactly the results we are looking for:

How this formula works:

Here's a high-level explanation of the formula's logic:

In the include argument of the FILTER function, you supply two or more range/criteria pairs. The result of each logical expression is an array of TRUE and FALSE values. The multiplication of the arrays coerces the logical values to numbers and produces an array of 1's and 0's. Since multiplying by zero always gives zero, only the entries that meet all the conditions have 1 in the final array. The FILTER function filters out the items corresponding to 0 and hands off the results to UNIQUE.

Filter unique values with multiple OR criteria

To get a list of unique values based on multiple OR criteria, i.e. when this OR that criterion is TRUE, add the logical expressions instead of multiplying them:

UNIQUE(FILTER(array, (criteria_range1 = criteria1) + (criteria_range2 = criteria2)))

For example, to show the winners in either Soccer or Hockey, you can use this formula:

`=UNIQUE(FILTER(A2:B10, (C2:C10="Soccer") + (C2:C10="Hockey")))`

If needed, you can of course enter the criteria in separate cells and refer to those cells like shown below:

`=UNIQUE(FILTER(A2:B10, (C2:C10=G1) + (C2:C10=G2)))`

How this formula works:

Just like when testing multiple AND criteria, you place several logical expressions in the include argument of the FILTER function, each of which returns an array of TRUE and FALSE values. When these arrays are added up, the items for which one or more criteria is TRUE will have 1, and the items for which all the criteria are FALSE will have 0. As the result, any entry that meets any single condition makes it into the array that is handed over to UNIQUE.

Get unique values in Excel ignoring blanks

If you are working with a data set that contains some gaps, a list of uniques obtained with a regular formula is likely to have an empty cell and/or zero value. This happens because the Excel UNIQUE function is designed to return all distinct values in a range, including blanks. So, if your source range has both zeros and blank cells, the unique list will contain 2 zeros, one representing a blank cell and the other - a zero value itself. Additionally, if the source data contains empty strings returned by some formula, the uique list will also include an empty string ("") that visually looks like a blank cell:

To get a list of unique values without blanks, this is what you need to do:

• Filter out blank cells and empty strings by using the FILTER function.
• Utilize the UNIQUE function to limit results to unique values only.

In a generic form, the formula looks as follows:

UNIQUE(FILTER(range, range<>""))

In this example, the formula in D2 is:

`=UNIQUE(FILTER(B2:B12, B2:B12<>""))`

As the result, Excel returns a list of unique names without empty cells:

Note. In case the original data contains zeros, one zero value will be included in the unique list.

Find unique values in specific columns

Sometimes you may want to extract unique values from two or more columns that are not adjacent to each other. At times, you may also want to re-order the columns in the resulting list. Both tasks can be fulfilled with help of CHOOSE function.

UNIQUE(CHOOSE({1,2,…}, range1, range2))

From our sample table, suppose you wish to get a list of winners based on the values in columns A and C and arrange the results in this order: first a sport (column C), and then a sportsman name (column A). To have it done, we construct this formula:

`=UNIQUE(CHOOSE({1,2}, C2:C10, A2:A10))`

And get the following result:

How this formula works:

The CHOOSE function returns a 2-dimentional array of values from the specified columns. In our case, it also swaps the order of columns.

From the above array, the UNIQUE function returns a list of unique records.

Find unique values and handle errors

The UNIQUE formulas we've discussed in this tutorial work just perfect… provided there is at least one value that meets the specified criteria. If the formula does not find anything, a #CALC! error occurs:

To prevent this from happening, simply wrap your formula in the IFERROR function.

For example, if no unique values meeting the criteria are found, you can display nothing, i.e. an empty string (""):

`=IFERROR(UNIQUE(FILTER(A2:B10, (C2:C10=G1) * (D2:D10<G2))), "")`

`=IFERROR(UNIQUE(FILTER(A2:B10, (C2:C10=G1) * (D2:D10<G2))), "No results")`

Excel UNIQUE function not working

As you have seen, the emergence of the UNIQUE function has made finding unique values in Excel incredibly easy. If all of a sudden your formula results in an error, it's most likely to be one of the following.

#NAME? error

Occurs if you use a UNIQUE formula in an Excel version where this function is not supported.

Currently, the UNIQUE function is only available in Excel 365 and 2021. If you have a different version, you may find an appropriate solution in this tutorial: How to get unique values in Excel 2019, Excel 2016 and earlier.

The #NAME? error in supported versions indicates that the function's name is misspelled. For more details, see How to fix #NAME error in Excel.

#SPILL error

Occurs if one or more cells in the spill range are not completely blank.

To fix the error, just clear or delete non-empty cells. To see exactly which cells are getting in the way, click the error indicator, and then click Select Obstructing Cells. For more information, please see #SPILL! error in Excel - causes and fixes.

That's how to find unique values in Excel. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!

Excel unique values formula examples (.xlsx file)

You may also be interested in

1. Is there a way of using the unique formula to keep rows of data based off of the unique value of one column.

2. Thanks for posting this! The MS documentation for Unique did not include all of the other arguments, so I was struggling to figure how to get unique vals across a column.

3. Hi, I have a table of 6 columns and 100 rows of which I wanted to return the whole table with unique values of only the 2nd column.

4. How do I get Unique values in Column C while looking at previous row outputs - seems like i need to use filter but not having any luck
A B C
R1 John Mary Output = John
R2 John James Output = James - John is already an output in R1 above.
R3 Mary John Output = Mary - John is already an OP in R1 above

5. Hi! My question is the same as the "Phillip says: January 24, 2021 at 10:04 pm" question about adding a blank cell after every unique value. Someone wrote a formula that works for Google Sheet but it doesn't work(convert) in Office365 Excel.

Could you please provide an Excel version of the Google sheet formula '=Transpose(ArrayFormula(FLATTEN({Sort(UNIQUE({A3:A,IF(A3:A="","","")}))})))'

Example
A1 = unique value
B1 = blank cell
C1 = unique value
D1 = blank cell
E1 = unique value
F1 = blank cell
… and so on.

It would be a bonus, if there is a way the cells could be developed so I could merge two cells, but I understand that, that might a UNIQUE function limitation.

Example
Merged cell A1:B1 = 2022
A2 = Sales Dollars
B2 = Product Count

6. Can anyone explain to me what I am doing wrong? I have a table with information and I want to get the unique values from that table using the formula in the explanation above. I however do not get the unique data in 2 columns but only the first row of data from my table in 1 column right under each other finishing with a #N/A. As you will understand the table has more than 1 row ;-) in fact 1889 rows.
The formula I used is: =UNIQUE(CHOOSE({1;2};tblEq_lst[PO_nr];tblEq_lst[Eq_nr]))
I am confused here because in my humble opinion I used the right syntax and do not get the result everyone probably gets reading the comments above.

• Hi!
I can't check the formula that contains unique references to your workbook worksheets, sorry.
The UNIQUE function can search for unique values in only one column. For finding unique values in a range, see this comment. Perhaps this will help.

• Thanks Alexander, but to be honest I was using the same as explained above by the author under "Find unique values in specific columns".
She wrote the following =UNIQUE(CHOOSE({1,2}, C2:C10, A2:A10))
I am using a column name in a table and this column is PO_nr and the other column is Eq_nr.
Basically these column are similar to the C2:C10 and A2:A10.
The result shown above by the author does not pop-up when I use the same syntax.
So, if it is true what you replied it basically undermines the explanation of the author ;-) because you say that a unique reference cannot be for 2 columns. There are also other videos on Youtube (Leila Gharani that also explain the solution described by Svetlana (author).
Somehow I must be doing something wrong because normally the explanation by Leila works fine.
Anyhow, thanks for the help Alexander.

• Alexander, already figured it out by downloading a workable example that I found on the internet and guess what. The separator I use in formulas is not ',' but a ';' and a comma used in the formula to mark the columns I want to see from the unique function is not to be marked with ';' but with '\' and that does the trick to see the 2 non adjacent columns.

7. Hello, thank you for this great and useful information. But, I want to figure it out if this function works perfectly for my task or not. So the problem is I have duplicate data and I want to delete all duplicate rows EXCEPT the first three rows. Here is the example for more details :

BEFORE : AFTER :
Col. A | Col. B | Col. C | Col. A | Col. B | Col. C |
2.78 8.13 8.45 2.78 8.13 8.45
6.49 8.13 6.75 6.49 8.13 6.75
3.70 8.13 12.3 3.70 8.13 12.3
5.14 8.13 18.0 5.14 blank 18.0
5.14 8.13 10.2 5.14 blank 10.2
5.14 8.13 18.4 5.14 blank 18.4
5.14 9.02 1.07 blank 9.02 1.07
5.14 9.11 1.07 blank 9.11 1.07
5.14 9.13 1.07 blank 9.13 1.07
5.14 9.12 1.07 blank 9.12 blank

For additional information, deleted data needs to stay as a blank cell in the same position (in the exact row-column), so there is no shift cell after deleting the data.

My questions : Is it possible to use “UNIQUE” function to this kind of problem? If it’s possible, how do I write the syntax? If it’s not possible, which function I could use and also how do I write the syntax? Thank you very much for your answer.

• I'm sorry I messed up the example. It should be written like this :

BEFORE :
Col. A | Col. B | Col. C |
2.78 8.13 8.45
6.49 8.13 6.75
3.70 8.13 12.3
5.14 8.13 18.0
5.14 8.13 10.2
5.14 8.13 18.4
5.14 9.02 1.07
5.14 9.11 1.07
5.14 9.13 1.07
5.14 9.12 1.07

AFTER :
Col. A | Col. B | Col. C |
2.78 8.13 8.45
6.49 8.13 6.75
3.70 8.13 12.3
5.14 blank 18.0
5.14 blank 10.2
5.14 blank 18.4
blank 9.02 1.07
blank 9.11 1.07
blank 9.13 1.07
blank 9.12 blank

8. Hi,
Is it possible to get unique values from different columns in different sheets into one single column as output?

I have 'project codes' (numbers) and 'project names' (text) spread in 3 different sheets. I'm looking for unique values from both these columns to be able to extract from these 3 different sheets into two columns (project codes & project names) in another new sheet. Is it possible? Could you please share the syntax.

• Hi,
But the content in those 3 columns could be same or different. Either case, I need unique values only. Please refer below example.

Col. A Col. B Col. C
R1 289476 297659 297659
R2 222257 257880 257880
R3 285468 285468 285468
R4 209676 209676 213431
R5 267890 298786 235132

From the above grid, I would need unique numbers from all 3 columns.
3 unique numbers from Row # 5 which are all unique and 1 unique number from Row # 3 which is unique across all 3 columns. Please help!

Thanks.

• Hi!
To extract unique values from multiple columns of numbers, you can use the formula

=LET(tbl,A2:C6,c,COLUMNS(tbl),seq,SEQUENCE(ROWS(tbl)*c,,0), SORT(UNIQUE(INDEX(tbl,INT(seq/c)+1,MOD(seq,c)+1),,TRUE)))

To find distinct values that occur more than once in the range, use the formula

=LET(tbl,A2:C6,c,COLUMNS(tbl),seq,SEQUENCE(ROWS(tbl)*c,,0), SORT(UNIQUE(INDEX(tbl,INT(seq/c)+1,MOD(seq,c)+1))))

9. If a a a b a a there need to pick unique how

10. i have a list of duplicate invoice numbers, and total amount of each invoice is between (-500,000 to +1million), amounts are in colum B and inv numbers are in col A. i want to apply unique function , but i dont want to show invoice number have total amount from (-100 to +100)
Inv Amount
1 46,159.25
2 -45.00
2 -55.00
4 2,000.00
6 -101.00
6 101.00
19 -50
19 145
21 1,500.00
21 23000
21 6000
23 1,500.00
25 -2,425.81

11. Hi, I am trying to use the unique function but want to filter out Blank cells and cells that have N/A written in them. Is there any way exclude N/A and Blank cells from being pulled?

12. Hello! I'm trying to have duplicate values from 3 different sheets (same column range) to be returned and listed in another sheet. Can you please help me?

For example:
If "ABCD" appears from all these ranges:
Sheet 1 (A1:A5), Sheet 2 (A1:A5), and Sheet 3 (A1:A5),
how do I get "ABCD" to be returned in a cell?

13. Says in a row cells [A1="Text1", A5="Text2", A6="Text3", A10="Text4"] & I HAVE CATEGORY says A11="Category".

What is the formula to select those Text1, Text2, Text3 & Text4 from Category? And the results or format will be
Results: Column Cells A2=Text1, A3=Text2, A4=Text3 & A5=Text4.

Hoping for your kind help. Thanks

14. How can i find unique value which is repeated in all documents for example 01 no is occurring with all names what formula can i use so that gives the result 01 as this is repeated with all names.

Name No
asif 1
asif 2
kamran 3
kamran 1
yousaf 4
yousaf 1
Junaid 1
Junaid 6

• Hi!
I am not sure I fully understand what you mean. If the value is repeated in all documents, then it is not unique. The value 01 is not in your data.

15. Hello,
I've a list of orders with sold products. Some orders have 2 or 3 items sold. the items sold is spread into 3 or more columns. I want to create a unique list of products sold, and count how many times it was sold. Kindly could you help me with that?
below is an example

Column A, Column B, Column C
item213, item100, item390
item512, item512,
item213, item512, item390

• I mean i want to end with the following:

product, how many times it was sold
item213, 2
item100, 1
item 390,2
item 512, 3

16. What if the data looks like this and is not sorted in the weird way you have it sorted in this example;

Asset Management & Custody Banks Asset Management & Custody Banks
Asset Management & Custody Banks Mortgage REITs
Auto Components Auto Parts & Equipment
Auto Components Tires & Rubber
Automobiles Automobile Manufacturers
Automobiles Motorcycle Manufacturers
Banks Diversified Banks
Banks Regional Banks
Banks Thrifts & Mortgage Finance
Beverages Brewers
Beverages Distillers & Vintners
Beverages Soft Drinks
Biotechnology Biotechnology
Building Products Auto Parts & Equipment
Building Products Building Products
Casinos & Gaming Casinos & Gaming

17. Hi
Good day!
how can I check if a certain Project was tag in different category or metric?
Example:
Column A Column B Column C
Project 1 Combine Yes
Project 1 LOB Yes
Project 2 Combine Yes
Project 2 LOB NO
Project 3 LOB YES
Project 3 Combined Yes

how can we determine if Column A should be tag only for COMBINE or LOB and not both LOB & Combine?

18. Hi
Good Day!
May I ask for your help to check if in one column we will find if the data were in two category.
Example:
Column A Column B Column C
Alpha

19. Hi how i can the unique values for a multi response column? Like this:

Food_water medicine saving
Saving gas_and_oil
Food_water
Medicine saving gas_and_oil
Saving
So i want to have this results:
Food_water
Saving
Medicine
Gas_and_oil

Thank you so much

• Hello!
You can get the first word from each cell in a separate column.

=LEFT(A1,SEARCH(" ",A1,1)-1)

Then find the unique values in that column as described in the article above.

But what what if there is a choice that they did not choose it the first, so i will not have that choice, as i have a big data more than 15000 row every month ?

20. Hi! I have a set of data where clients have put in their details. However, some clients have put in details twice or thrice. The Unique formula doesn't seem to work because I am still getting those client's show up in my list more than once. Upon investigating it was found that the reason for this is because they have spelled it in once in all CAPS and in the other entry it all lower case - hence technically it's a unique entry. The one thing that is unique is their email ID...is it possible to return the entire table, but only looking for unique entries in ONE column instead of the entire table? For example my table has data from Column A to S, but I want the unique formula to look for unique columns in Column D ONLY but return Column A to S

21. I am trying to figure out how to get a count of the unique values produced? How do I do this via formula? I can able to select the data I see a "Count X" at the bottom right hand of the excel window but if I try "=count(unique( ))" the formula doesn't work. Thank you for your help!

22. hi I am trying to extract unique values from two worksheets within the same workbook into another worksheet which is also in the same workbook. How can I do that?

example:
worksheet 1 has:
aaaa
bbb
ccc
ddd

Worksheet 2 has:
aaaa
ccc
eee

The result should be:
aaaa
bbb
ccc
ddd
eee

is this possible via formula? Please let me know thanks

• Hello Vinita,
I wanted to get exactly the above done in one of my projects and I have found an elegant way to get this done. Please see the following implementation of the LET function:
=LET(
rows1,ROWS(r.1),
rows2,ROWS(r.2),
cols1,COLUMNS(r.1),
rowindex,SEQUENCE(rows1+rows2),
colindex,SEQUENCE(1,cols1),
IF(
rowindex<=rows1,
INDEX(r.1,rowindex,colindex),
INDEX(r.2,rowindex-rows1,colindex))
)

In my case I had three columns from three different tables on three different sheets that I needed to combine and get a unique sorted list - all I did was to encapsulate the above LET function first within a standard ENIQUE() function and then the Unique function was encapsulated within a SORT() function. This produced the desired result.

I hope this post finds you and that you get some use out of the example.

23. Very useful! But as people above have said, when trying to use this in a Excel Table I get a #SPILL! error. I am trying to make a dynamically updating Table that will add rows as my source data updates. It works fine until I convert the range to a Table. Am I missing something?

• Oh that's a shame! Thanks for confirming though, I thought it was just me.

24. Very helpful, never knew the unique command existed, combining with sort is magic.

Thank you so much.

25. Hi, I need a way of being able to count unique strings within a cell in a range and im not entirely sure how. For example if my data set was below, what formula would i use to count the unique instances of the numbers 1-20 for each agenct? The subset of the data for agent A is below the main set below, and i manually count 14 different strings amongst the total data. Those 14 are spread across 6 different instances of Agent A. So i cant count column 1 for agent A, i cant cound column B for uniques... My only thought at this stage is to set up a new table matching 1-20 against Agents A-B, and then doing a manual count for included numbers (count how many times each number shows for each agent), and then doing a sumif >0 on that table.

Is there a more elegant solution?

Agent B 1
Agent B 10, 19
Agent B 17
Agent C 17
Agent A 5, 13
Agent C 5, 7, 17
Agent A 1, 5, 11
Agent B 11
Agent C 7, 20
Agent C 11
Agent A 6, 18
Agent A 1, 2, 5, 10, 15
Agent D 1
Agent B 9
Agent D 16, 17
Agent A 9
Agent A 8, 13, 18
Agent B 7, 13
Agent B 8, 12, 16
Agent B 13, 15, 16
Agent C 9, 17
Agent B 2, 5
Agent B 1, 4, 15
Agent C 13, 19
Agent A 5
Agent C 9
Agent D 8
Agent D 4, 9, 12
Agent C 1, 10, 17, 18
Agent A 5, 7, 9, 11, 12
Agent D 7, 12
Agent C 9
Agent B 7, 19
Agent D 1, 7
Agent D 18, 20
Agent D 13, 14
Agent D 3
Agent B 5, 6, 9, 12

Agent A 6, 18
Agent A 1, 2, 5, 10, 15
Agent A 9
Agent A 8, 13, 18
Agent A 5
Agent A 5, 7, 9, 11, 12

• Hello!

=SUMPRODUCT(--(FREQUENCY(FILTER(\$B\$2:\$F\$45,\$A\$2:\$A\$45="Agent A"),FILTER(\$B\$2:\$F\$45,\$A\$2:\$A\$45="Agent A"))>0))

Each number is written in a separate cell.
If your numbers are written in one cell as text, then use the recommendations of this article to split the numbers into cells.
We have a ready-made solution for your task. The Split Text tool is part of Ultimate Suite for Excel. With its help you can separate a column of text into multiple columns or rows. Easily split data by any character, string, or mask.
You can install it in a trial mode and check how it works for free.

26. Great information here. Do these formulas allow use of wildcards?
=IFERROR(UNIQUE(FILTER(A2:B10, C2:C10=F1)),0) The formula works but only for the exact
F1= abc. need any C column that includes all instances of abc, ex. xyx abc, abc xyz, xyz abc def is needed. I tried using * and + incorporating "*"&F1&"*" but results returned 0.

• Hello!

=UNIQUE(FILTER(A2:B10,IFERROR(SEARCH(F1,C2:C10,1),FALSE)))

• Thank you for the rapid reply and article link for the Find and Search functions and examples for Excel 2019 and 365,

• Hello each of these filter formulas work alone but not by combining with and *:
=ROWS(UNIQUE(FILTER(\$C\$2:\$C\$882,IFERROR(SEARCH("*"&G883&"*",\$G\$2:\$G\$882),FALSE))))
=ROWS(UNIQUE(FILTER(\$C\$2:\$C\$882,IFERROR(SEARCH("*"&D883&"*",\$D\$2:\$D\$882),FALSE))))
does not work:(too few arguments) =ROWS(UNIQUE(FILTER(\$C\$2:\$G\$882,(IFERROR(SEARCH("*"&G883&"*",\$G\$2:\$G\$882)*(\$D\$2:\$D\$882,IFERROR(SEARCH("*"&D883&"*")),FALSE))))

• Hello!
Sorry, it's not quite clear what you are trying to achieve.
What do you want to calculate exactly? Your question is not entirely clear, please specify.

• I want to use the two formulas combined as one. The section above titled "Filter unique values based on multiple criteria" mentions the basic formula =UNIQUE(FILTER(A2:B10, (C2:C10=G1) * (D2:D10<G2)))
Intend to count unique rows using filters for instances that contain "*g883*"(G1) and(*) "*d883*"(G2).
column d is a smaller subset of g.
both formulas start the same: ROWS(UNIQUE(FILTER(\$C\$2:\$C\$882,,,,
first formula includes : (IFERROR(SEARCH("*"&G883&"*",\$G\$2:\$G\$882) which works.(G1)
second formula includes: (IFERROR(SEARCH("*"&D883&"*",\$D\$2:\$D\$882) which works(G2)
however, combining with * results in error: you entered too few arguments for this function. Thank you for your response and effort to find a solution.

• Hi!
You are using too many arguments in the FILTER function. I am assuming that you want to apply a filter to two ranges and combine them. It is impossible to do this with one function.
I do not see your data and your explanations are not very clear. I do not have enough information to offer you a solution.

27. Is it possible to extract unique values in a column and list the values across a set of row. i.e transpose the unique values?

28. I have a list of clients in columns for each month. (See below)

January ----- February ------ March
John ---------- Fred ------------- Mary
Fred ---------- Joe --------------- John

Is there a way to pull a unique list of clients in one row?
John
Fred
Mary
Joe

• Hello!
Assuming your values ​​are in the range A2:C9, enter the following formula in cell E2:

=INDIRECT(TEXT(MIN(IF((\$A\$2:\$C\$9<>"")*(COUNTIF(\$E\$1:E1,\$A\$2:\$C\$9)=0),ROW(\$2:\$9)*100+COLUMN(\$A:\$C),7^8)),"R0C00"),)&""

In this formula, A2:C9 indicates the range of cells from which you want to get unique values. E1 is the first cell in the column where you want to place the result. \$2:\$9 means rows containing the data you want to use. \$A:\$C points to the columns containing the data you want to use. Please change them to your own.
This is an array formula and it needs to be entered via Ctrl + Shift + Enter, not just Enter. After that you can copy this formula down along the column to extract unique values ​​until blank cells appear.

• Hi Alex, thanks a lot for sharing this great article and the above useful formula for unique values across rows and columns.
Is there another function that can accomplish the same goal as above that is not using a volatile function (INDIRECT)? The use of volatile functions comes with some limitations.

Thanks!

• Oh nevermindd, I found an alternative formula already.

• Hi!
To get unique from multiple columns Excel try this array formula in cell E2:

=IFERROR(IFERROR(IFERROR(INDEX(\$A\$2:\$A\$20,MATCH(0,COUNTIF(\$D\$1:E1,\$A\$2:\$A\$20)+(\$A\$2:\$A\$20=""),0)), INDEX(\$B\$2:\$B\$20,MATCH(0,COUNTIF(\$D\$1:E1,\$B\$2:\$B\$20)+(\$B\$2:\$B\$20=""),0))), INDEX(\$C\$2:\$C\$20,MATCH(0,COUNTIF(\$D\$1:E1,\$C\$2:\$C\$20)+(\$C\$2:\$C\$20=""),0))),"")

29. I have external data imported from a csv file and need to present results of UNIQUE or FILTER functions performed on that data in an Excel table. However it returns #SPILL error in the table. Is there a way aorund it?

• Hello!
The UNUQUE function displays the results in the current column. To do this, she needs a number of empty cells at the bottom. The #SPILL error means that there are not enough empty cells to display unique values. Delete the values from the cells at the bottom, or select a different column for the formula.

30. What if I have a table with 4 columns. Columns 1 and 3 shows names and columns 2 and 4 have values. The names in columns 1 and 3 are similar. I just want to add the values on columns 2 and 4 that correspond to the similar name in columns 1 and 3

• Hi,
Please describe your problem in more detail. Include an example of the source data and the result you want to get. It’ll help me understand your request better and find a solution for you.

31. Is it possible to use the "Unique" formula getting unique values with input from several columns, even sitting in different sheets. Let's say I have a column with names in column A sheet1 and another set of names in column B in sheet2 and like to combine them and only see unique names?

• Hello!
The UNIQUE function can only select unique values from one range. To select unique values from two ranges, you can use this array formula:

=IFERROR(IFERROR(INDEX(List1, MATCH(0, COUNTIF(\$D\$1:D1, List1), 0)), INDEX(List2, MATCH(0, COUNTIF(\$D\$1:D1, List2), 0))), "")

List1 and List2 - named ranges with data. You can also use regular absolute references.
The formula is in cell D1. Otherwise change the cell addresses \$D\$1:D1.
Press Ctrl + Shift + Enter so that array function to work.
After that you can copy this formula down along the column.

• Thanks, it works, but unfortunately this array function needs more processsing than the Unique function so processing time for the number of rows used is too long. Thanks amyway for calrifying the limitations of the UNIQUE function!

• Hello,

Thank you so much for the above! This solves my problem.

It does pick up 1 blank cell though between List 1 and List 2. Do you know how can I get rid of that please?

Thank you,

32. First off , thank you for publishing such a comprehensive article regarding the Unique formula.

I am having an issue where I am using the UNIQUE(FILTER(array, criteria_range = criteria)) and it works fine if there are multiple items in the source list meeting the criteria, however when there is only 1 item in my list that fulfills the criteria , it gets repeated infinitely in my output list. Can you please let me know what am I doing wrong?
Please see my example below written as UNIQUE(FILTER(Name,Outcome=1):

Option 1 Option 2
Name Outcome Name Outcome
Angela 1 Angela 0
Andrew 1 Andrew 1
Mike 0 Mike 0
Tom 0 Tom 0
Lisa 0 Lisa 0
Ben 1 Ben 0

Result Option 1 Result Option 1
Angela Andrew
Andrew Andrew
Ben Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
Andrew
.....

• My apologies,
I think I figured out what I was doing wrong. I was dragging the array formula down however this function populates automatically from the first formula cell without having an expression in the next cell. All fixed, thank you.

33. I have data that is is updated via an external data source. It is a table. I have created several data slicers to make it easier for the users to filter. (5 slicers). I want to include a summary above the data that displays what has been filtered. I tried using the unique function but it pulls all unique values from the whole list and nit just the filtered list. Any thoughts on this? I’ve googled it but have yet to find a solution. Regards Mark

34. Hi!
I use excel advanced filter to extract unique records only and copied them at another location. However, this feature does not dynamically update the extracted values if a value is changed in the source column. How can I achieve it? Thanks very much.

35. If using the UNIQUE formula to return unique values from single column of data, is it possible to have the function leave a blank cell between each value? Such that is returns the unique data results into every other row

36. Hello,

I am using this formula to return unique values (text) from 1 column based on a criterion (also text) in another column:

UNIQUE(FILTER(array, criteria_range = criteria))

The array column has cells that are either blank or contain "R". In the case when the criterion is met for several entries in the array column (i.e. several blank cells and may 1 or 2 cells with "R"), the formula returns two lines - both "0" and "R".

How do I remove the "0" and get the formula to ignore blank cells. I have tried the following with no change to the end result:

UNIQUE(FILTER(array, criteria_range = criteria,""))

Thank you very much,

Kirsty

• Hello!
If I understand your task correctly, the following formula should work for you:

=UNIQUE(FILTER(A1:A10, (ISNUMBER(SEARCH("r",A1:A10,1))) * (A1:A10<>"")))

Hope this is what you need.

37. Hi,

I'm trying to get all unique values from a list of entries across several columns, is there a way to do this and return in one column?

For example, if you had the following lists: Customers for product X. Customers For product Y. Customers for product Z.

And you want one simple list of all unique customers?

Thanks,

Matt

38. Hi, thanks for these articles. I'm hoping you can help me with an application of these functions in a different scenario.

I've got a large data set of people located in different facilities. The names are in one column and the facilities are in another. In a third column is a date on which occurred a specific event. Because these events are recurring, each name and facility may show up many times.

I used =Unique(Filter( to pull all the unique names from each facility, and it worked great. I was hoping to use a Countif function to see how many times each name is in the list, but I cannot reference the cells with the names that the unique(filter returned. Is there a good solution to count how many times each unique name shows up in the list without having to type the name out in separate Countif functions?

Example Data Set UNIQUE(FILTER(A:A,B:B="Facility A")) # of Occurrences
Name 1 Facility A 12/1/2020 Name 1 ???
Name 2 Facility A 12/1/2020 Name 2 ???
Name 3 Facility A 12/2/2020 Name 3 ???
Name 1 Facility A 12/15/2020
Name 4 Facility B 12/3/2020
Name 5 Facility B 12/5/2020
Name 4 Facility B 12/5/2020

• Sorry, it pushed all my columns together. Trying again

Example Data Set ------------------------------------ UNIQUE(FILTER(A:A,B:B="Facility A")) --- # of Occurrences
Name 1 --- Facility A --- 12/1/2020 ------------- Name 1 --- ???
Name 2 --- Facility A --- 12/1/2020 ------------- Name 2 --- ???
Name 3 --- Facility A --- 12/2/2020 ------------- Name 3 --- ???
Name 1 --- Facility A --- 12/15/2020
Name 4 --- Facility B --- 12/3/2020
Name 5 --- Facility B --- 12/5/2020
Name 4 --- Facility B --- 12/5/2020

39. Bookmarking this - thanks so much! I've been looking for resources on how to do this for ages - I manage a lot of payment data updated weekly and frequently need to find unique donor IDs within a certain date range.

Quick question: I'm trying to find a count for only unique IDs that show up for the first time within a given date range. So for example, pulling a list of all unique IDs for 1/1/20-12/7/20, then pulling a list of unique IDs for 12/7/20-12/14/20, and counting/keeping only the IDs that are in the second range and NOT the first. Do you know of any way to do this?

Thanks!

40. Hi,

How can I count the number of items returned by UNIQUE(FILTER when filter returns no results ? In this case, ROWS or COUNTA return 1, when I would like to have 0

Thnaks
Olivier

41. I have used the UNIQUE function and get the same word twice, in this instance the word "Pollard" appears twice. I have tried copying from one cell into all of the cells with this word yet it keeps seeing the same word as two unique entries. Any ideas? Thanks.

42. How can use unique function in excel 2013

• Hello!

The UNIQUE function does not work in Excel 2013. It is only available in Excel 365.

43. How do I find unique fields based on 3-4 different criteria? I'm trying to avoid creating multiple pivot tables. I've been researching this and i'm not sure if it is possible.

• I'm able to filter if I add 1 additional criteria and it works. If I add another criteria to the equation it errors out and produces calc. This is where the confusion on my part comes from.

=UNIQUE(FILTER(SFDC!B:B,(SFDC!G:G=Sheet1!B3)*(SFDC!M:M=92)*(SFDC!M:M=91)*(SFDC!M:M=21)))

• Hello!
I don't have your data. Therefore, I cannot determine the cause of the error. Note, however, that the!CALC error occurs when the UNIQUE + FILTER formula finds nothing. Read more in this section above.

44. Hi - great tips, thanks.

How can you use the UNIQUE function on a table where you keep adding to the columns but dont want to keep updating the formula?

for example if you had =SUM(1/COUNTIF(F2:F34,F2:F34)) but wanted to keep adding values to the F column without having to change the formula everytime?

Thanks

45. Can I create a unique formula that produces only the unique values that contain a specific string of text which I define?

• Hello!
To find unique values by a string of text, you can use the formula

=UNIQUE(FILTER(A2:B10,ISNUMBER(SEARCH("Bas",C2:C10,1))))

46. This is very helpful - thank you. I have a question though. I want to filter unique values based on multiple criteria but rather than extracting the results that meet both criteria I want to extract the results that meet just one of the two criteria given. E.g. in the examples above, lets say the two criteria were Basketball OR Volleyball then the result would be the 6 cases where either of these two conditions are met. Any ideas? Thanks

• Hello!
To use 2 conditions with OR logic in the selection of unique values, use the formula

=UNIQUE(FILTER(A2:B10,(C2:C10=F1)+(C2:C10=G1)))

where G1 -- "Volleyball"

• Brilliant! That works perfectly. Thank you so much for the quick reply as well.

47. Hi i need below mentioned details formula. Kindly help on this.

A columns value Greater than 0 and need to count B columns unique count only.

48. I want to use the results of the Unique function as part of a table, i.e. I want to add columns to the results of the Unique function in order to perform other calculation. Putting that in a table would allow me to define the formulas on the first row only and the spill of the Unique function would define the number of rows of my table.
I have created the first two columns of the table using Unique (i.e. to find unique pairs in another table) and started to add more headers before creating the final table. As soon as the table is created, I am getting error in the columns containing the spill of the Unique function. Is there a way to go around this problem?

• Hello!
Sorry, I do not fully understand the task. For me to be able to help you better, please specify which formula you mean and describe the problem in more detail.

49. Is it possible to use =UNIQUE(FILTER(B2:B12, B2:B12"")) over multiple columns to remove blanks? For example =UNIQUE(FILTER(B2:D12, B2:D12""))which currently returns #VALUE!

• Hi,

I have 3 different date columns
Re Qua Bu
7/17/2020 8/17/2020 9/10/2020
7/18/2020 8/20/2020 9/17/2020
7/19/2020 8/21/2020 10/6/2020
I want to get unique detail for this 3 columns in another cell as it has to be linked to the date range..

Is it possible?

50. Any method to use UNIQUE over non-contiguous tables?

=UNIQUE((A1:A9,A11:A14,E1:E9),FALSE,FALSE)

Obviously that doesn't work, but that what i'm aiming to do.