Moving at the Speed of Creativity by Wesley Fryer

Find & Highlight Duplicates in Excel 2011 for Mac

It’s exciting we’ve received almost 400 registrations for our third EdCampOKC event coming up on February 28th! Yesterday Julie Gathright, who is heading up our registration committee, noticed a few folks had registered twice with the same email address or with different email addresses. Since we want an accurate participant count (we’ve obtained sponsorships to provide lunch this year on-site) we need to remove duplicate registrations. In this post I’ll describe the steps I followed to do this in Excel 2011 for Mac and in EventBrite.

The first step was to download our current list of registrants from the EventBrite website as an Excel document. To do this (when you are the creator of an event or have been granted multi-user access to an event:

  1. Click MANAGE in the top menubar of EventBrite for the event.
  2. In the left sidebar under ANALYZE click EVENT REPORTS
  3. Select the REPORT TYPE you want in the top drop-down menu. You can create custom report types with just the fields you specify if desired.
  4. Under Export choose EXCEL.
  5. Open the downloaded file in Excel.

To find and highlight duplicate registrations in the Excel document using Excel for Mac 2011:

  1. Click on the column header for the values you want to check. (I used email)
  3. Leave “Show formatting rules for CURRENT SELECTION” at the top
  4. Click the “+” icon to add a rule
  5. In the top popup menu, for Style choose CLASSIC
  6. In the second popup menu, choose “FORMAT ONLY UNIQUE OR DUPLICATE VALUES”
  7. Click OK and OK again.
Find Duplicates in Excel 2011 for Mac by Wesley Fryer, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Wesley Fryer 

I also used this method for the “Last Name” Field to spot people who used different email addresses but registered twice with the same first and last name. We had five people who registered twice with the same email, and three people who registered twice with different emails. If your list is bigger these techniques might take longer, but for our list of almost 400 people this was a quick way to identify duplicates.

The next step on the EventBrite website was to search for these duplicate registrations and delete them. Again in the same menu (ANALYZE – EVENT REPORTS) I pasted each email address individually and searched for it in our registrations database. Results were shown below the search field, and I selected the duplicate and chose to delete it. This entire process took about 15 minutes. I also emailed each person to let them know we’d deleted their duplicate registration, but invited them to register others again if they needed another ticket using that individual’s first and last name.

Rob Griffith‘s 2011 article for MacWorld, “Three must-see Excel 2011 tricks,” helped me figure out how to find these duplicates in Excel for Mac. I have been listening to Rob’s weekly tech podcast, “The Committed” (@CommittedShow) for the past few months and highly recommend it.

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