## Count Duplicates in Excel List With Pivot Table

Written by Debra Dalgleish from Contextures Blog

In Excel, use a pivot table to quickly count the duplicate items in a list. No formulas needed with this Excel tip! See how to do this in the short video, and written steps, below.

### How Many of Each Item?

In this fake survey, 100 people were asked to name their birth month, and the list was entered on an Excel worksheet.

How many times is each month name duplicated in the list? Instead of using a formula to figure that out, get the numbers quickly, in a pivot table.

### Video: Count Duplicates With Pivot Table

In this short video, Sarah shows how to count the number of times each month name appears in the list. No formulas needed!

#### Video Timeline

• 00:00 Introduction
• 00:10 Birthdays Per Month
• 00:25 Get Started
• 00:33 Insert a Pivot Table
• 01:00 Count Duplicates
• 01:20 Get the Workbook

### Prepare the List

In our fake survey, 100 people were asked to name their birth month, and the list was entered on an Excel sheet.

A heading, BirthMonth, was added at the top of the list, and formatted as bold text. That formatting helps Excel recognize the top cell as a heading.

### Start the Pivot Table

Based on that month list, create a pivot table to count the duplicate entries for each month name.

Follow these steps to start the pivot table:

• Select one cell in the list of month names.
• Select the heading cell, or any month name in the list
• Next, click the Insert tab on the Excel Ribbon
• Click the Pivot Table command

### Pivot Table Table or Range

In the Create Pivot Table dialog box, the list’s address should automatically appear in the Table/Range box.

• If the correct range isn’t shown, click in the Table/Range box
• Click on the worksheet, and select the heading cell, and the list of month names

### Pivot Table Location

You can choose a location where you want the pivot table to be placed – a new worksheet or an existing worksheet.

• For this pivot table, I’ve selected Existing Worksheet.

If you select Existing Worksheet, click on the sheet and cell where you want the pivot table to start.

• I’ve selected cell D3 on the Survey sheet

### Data Model

You can choose whether or not to add the data to the workbook’s Data Model.

• If you check that box, you’ll create an OLAP-based pivot table
• If you do not check that box, you’ll create a normal pivot table

These pivot table types have different features and properties. For this pivot table, it doesn’t matter which pivot table type you create.

I left the box unchecked, to create a normal pivot table

### Create the Pivot Table

After you’ve selected the options that you want, click the OK button, to create an empty pivot table on the worksheet.

• The first cell in the pivot table should be selected
• You should see a PivotTable Fields List – usually at the right side of the Excel window.

### Add Month Names to Pivot Table

In the PivotTable Field List, there’s only one field name – BirthMonth

• To show a list of months, add a check mark to BirthMonth
• Because the list is text only, the field is automatically added to the Rows area, in Month order

### Count the Duplicates

Next, we want the pivot table to show a count of the duplicate month names in the survey results. How many instances are there of each month name?

To show the count:

• In the Pivot Table Field List, drag the checked  BirthMonth field down into the Values area

A new column appears in the pivot table, with the heading, “Count of Birth Month”

In that column, the pivot table shows the number of times that each month name appears in the survey results list.

### Get the Sample File

To get the sample file, go to my Contextures website – Count Duplicates With a Pivot Table. The zipped file is in xlsx format, with no macros. You can use the workbook to follow along with the video.

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### Count Duplicates in Excel List With Pivot Table

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