Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Deleting Duplicate Columns.

Deleting Duplicate Columns

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 9, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003

Dror has a worksheet that contains quite a bit of data. It is possible that the data in one column will be exactly the same as the data in another column, so he wonders if there is an easy way to delete any duplicate columns within the worksheet.

The first step, of course, is to figure out if two columns are identical or not. This can be determined rather easily with an array formula such as the following:

```=AND(A1:A100=B1:B100)
```

(Remember that an array formula is entered by using Shift+Ctrl+Enter.) The formula compares all the values in the first 100 rows of columns A and B. If they are all the same, then the formula returns TRUE. If any of the cells don't match, then the formula returns FALSE. If the result is TRUE you could then delete one of the columns because they are the same.

If you want something that is a bit more automatic, meaning that the duplicate column is deleted, then you'll need to use a macro. The following steps through all the columns in the worksheet and, starting with the right-most column, compares all the columns. If any are the same—regardless of their order in the worksheet—then the macro asks if you want the duplicate column deleted.

```Sub DeleteDuplicateColumns()
Dim rngData As Range
Dim arr1, arr2
Dim i As Integer, j As Integer, n As Integer

On Error Resume Next
Set rngData = ActiveSheet.UsedRange
If rngData Is Nothing Then Exit Sub

n = rngData.Columns.Count

For i = n To 2 Step -1
For j = i - 1 To 1 Step -1
If WorksheetFunction.CountA(rngData.Columns(i)) <> 0 And _
WorksheetFunction.CountA(rngData.Columns(j)) <> 0 Then
arr1 = rngData.Columns(i)
arr2 = rngData.Columns(j)
If AreEqualArr(arr1, arr2) Then
With rngData.Columns(j)
'mark column to be deleted
.Copy
If MsgBox("Delete marked column?", vbYesNo) _
= vbYes Then
rngData.Columns(j).Delete
Else
'remove mark
Application.CutCopyMode = False
End If
End With
End If
End If
Next j
Next i

End Sub
```
```Function AreEqualArr(arr1, arr2) As Boolean
Dim i As Long, n As Long
AreEqualArr = False
For n = LBound(arr1) To UBound(arr1)
If arr1(n, 1) <> arr2(n, 1) Then
Exit Function
End If
Next n
AreEqualArr = True
End Function
```

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7164) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Deleting Duplicate Columns.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is one more than 0?

2021-03-26 21:50:52

dt

Do you have a version of this that will do the same for rows? No headers and use the active selection?

Very Respectfully,

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