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Getting unique values across two files

frosty1433 asked on

I have two very large files we'll call Old and New. New contains many entries that Old contains. What I need to do is remove any entry from New that Old contains. There are 9,459 entries in Old with 55 columns. New contains 11,983 entries with 76 columns. I need to make the comparison based on 5 columns; 'name_last', 'name_first', 'name_middle', 'street', and 'type'

I'm using Excel 2010, I'm very new to it, and haven't got a clue where to start.

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LianneByrne replied on

If your columns line up when pasting them into a new worksheet you could paste the old and the new worksheet together and in your options go to data - filter  - advanced set the list range as the five columns  nameL      nameF    nameM   street     type  and tick the box that says unique values only.  This will filter your data so you have unique values only and then you can copy the visible cells to a new worksheet.

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One simple approach could be as follows:


1. In a spare column of the old file, concatenate the five columns i.e. A2&C2&F2&G2&H2.  I have assumed that 'name_last', 'name_first', 'name_middle', 'street', and 'type' are in column A, C, F, G and H

2. Copy this down till last row

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for new file as well.  Supoose the spare column in new file in BZ

4. In another spare column of the new file, enter this formula


=VLOOKUP(BZ2,spare column of the old file created in step 1 above,1,0)


You will get an error against entries which are in new file and not in old file.  Filter on non error values and delete those rows.


Ta reduce file size, you may now delete the spare columns created.


Ashish Mathur
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