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How to remove duplicate characters or words in string of a cell?

Supposing there are duplicate characters or words in each cell, and you want to remove the duplicates and leave only unique characters or words. How could you solve this problem in Excel?

Remove duplicate characters of text string with User Defined Function

Remove duplicate words separated by punctuation with User Defined Function


arrow blue right bubble Remove duplicate characters of text string with User Defined Function

If you have a list of text string, now, you need to remove the duplicate characters as following screenshot shown. Here, I can talk about a VBA code to deal with it.

doc-remove-duplicate-characters-1

1. Hold down the ALT + F11 keys to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. Click Insert > Module, and paste the following code in the Module Window.

VBA code: Remove duplicate characters of text string in a cell

Function RemoveDupes1(pWorkRng As Range) As String
'Updateby Extendoffice
Dim xValue As String
Dim xChar As String
Dim xOutValue As String
Set xDic = CreateObject("Scripting.Dictionary")
xValue = pWorkRng.Value
For i = 1 To VBA.Len(xValue)
    xChar = VBA.Mid(xValue, i, 1)
    If xDic.Exists(xChar) Then
    Else
        xDic(xChar) = ""
        xOutValue = xOutValue & xChar
    End If
Next
RemoveDupes1 = xOutValue
End Function

3. Then save and close this code, go back to the worksheet, and enter this formula =removedupes1(A2) (A2 is the data cell you want to remove duplicates from) into a blank cell besides your data, see screenshot:

doc-remove-duplicate-characters-1

4. And then drag the fill handle over to the range cells that you want to apply this formula, all the duplicate characters have been removed from each cell immediately.

doc-remove-duplicate-characters-1


arrow blue right bubble Remove duplicate words separated by punctuation with User Defined Function

If there are some words which are separated by certain punctuation marks in a cell, you can also remove the duplicate words as you like. Please do with the following steps:

1. Hold down the ALT + F11 keys to open the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

2. Click Insert > Module, and paste the following code in the Module Window.

VBA code: Remove duplicate words separated by punctuation of a cell

Function RemoveDupes2(txt As String, Optional delim As String = " ") As String
    Dim x
    'Updateby Extendoffice
    With CreateObject("Scripting.Dictionary")
        .CompareMode = vbTextCompare
        For Each x In Split(txt, delim)
            If Trim(x) <> "" And Not .exists(Trim(x)) Then .Add Trim(x), Nothing
        Next
        If .Count > 0 Then RemoveDupes2 = Join(.keys, delim)
    End With
End Function

3. Then save and close this code, return to the worksheet, and enter this formula =RemoveDupes2(A2,",") into a blank cell next to your data, see screenshot:

doc-remove-duplicate-characters-1

4. Then copy down the formula to your needed cells, and all the duplicate words have been removed from every cells. See screenshot:

doc-remove-duplicate-characters-1

Note: In the above formula, A2 indicates the cell that you want to use, and the comma (,) stands for the punctuation mark which separates the words in a cell, you can change it to any other punctuations to your need.

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Comments (67)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
How to remove duplicate words in excel template


Flooring|Tiles Flooring|Flooring|Vitrified Tiles|Tiles|Flooring|Tiles
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Not sure if this thread is still alive. I am trying to use this for something as simple as what is shown in the chart above and I keep on receiving #NAME? error. Cell A2 has XXX, YYY, XXX, AAA I can't quite understand what I am doing wrong. I have the code in my personal workbook. Would that be the issue?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank you for the beautiful and useful coding. Can we do the same using Power Query?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, is there a way to get the result of "RemoveDupes2" alphabetically sorted?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hey! can anyone help me,
I have a data in excel example:



CARITAS, CSCED, FREE, NRC
BOSADP, DHCBI
BOSADP, Mercy Corps, NRC
ADRA, NRC
BOSADP, CAID
AAH, FAO (NEYIF), CRS (NEYIF)
SWNI, Mercy Corps,
CARE, PLAN, NRC
Mercy Corps, NRC
BOSADP, DHCBI, GREENCODE, NRC, AAH BOSADP


What I really want

CARITAS
BOSADP
DHCBI
NRC
ADRA
CAID
AAH
FAO
NEYIF
CRS
SWNI
CARE
PLAN
Mercy Corps
GREENCODE
FREE


the repeated words separated by comma deleted and and those that not repeated but separated by comma move to the next columns
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hey! can anyone help me,
I have a data in excel example:



CARITAS, CSCED, FREE, NRC
BOSADP, DHCBI
BOSADP, Mercy Corps, NRC
ADRA, NRC
BOSADP, CAID
AAH, FAO (NEYIF), CRS (NEYIF)
SWNI, Mercy Corps,
CARE, PLAN, NRC
Mercy Corps, NRC
BOSADP, DHCBI, GREENCODE, NRC, AAH BOSADP


What I really want

CARITAS
BOSADP
DHCBI
NRC
ADRA
CAID
AAH
FAO
NEYIF
CRS
SWNI
CARE
PLAN
Mercy Corps
GREENCODE
FREE


the repeated words separated by comma deleted and and those that not repeated but separated by comma move to the next columns
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
i tried applying method2 to numbers but it does not work. eg. 1104, 1104, 203, 203, 409, 409 >>>1104, 203, 409 How do you get method 2 to work with numbers?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, deezy,
The second method works well for numbers, please see the below screenshot.
Please try it again, thank you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thanks so much for sharing knowledge, I used the "Remove Duplicate Words Separated By Punctuation With User Defined Function" and it worked great. May you knowledge grow and grow.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
how about to remove duplicate character with an exception

for example from MMMPXLL, i want to remove M but keep the L

so the result will be MPXLL
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Edit :

some problem solved with removedupes2, but i have to do it one by one

for example i cant remove duplicate letter y,a,l at once. I have to do it one by one.

also, for case there is data like this yyypl, it become pl, the "y" is totally removed
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
i have a string of text like so

1 Ser 1 Ser 1 Ser 1 Ser 1 Ser 1 Ser 1 Ser 1 Ser 1 Ser 2 Ser 2 Ser 2 Ser 2 Ser 2 Ser 2 Ser 2 Ser 2 Ser 3 Ser 3 Ser 3 Ser 3 Ser 3 Ser 3 Ser 3 Ser 3 Ser X3 X5

when applying remove dupes 2 i get

1 Ser 2 3 X3 X5


by the looks of it, all duplicates except the first instance are kept, is there any way to tweek this so all duplicate instances except the last occurance are kept ?

so my desired outcome would be

1 2 3 Ser X3 X5

thank you in advanced!
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