Excel has some very effective ways to deal with duplicate values. Highlighting duplicates is one such feature. We can easily highlight duplicate values using conditional formatting and the COUNTIF function. In this tutorial, we will learn how to highlight duplicate values in Excel.

*Figure 1. Example of How to Highlight Duplicate Values*

**Generic Formula**

**=COUNTIF(Range,A1)>1**

**How the Formula Works**

Here, we are using conditional formatting to highlight the duplicate values. The function in use is COUNTIF. The COUNTIF function counts the occurrence of each value in the range. If a value exists more than once, COUNTIF returns TRUE and invokes the formatting rule. .

We use conditional formatting to highlight the cells. Conditional formatting has some preset rules. Still, we are using a custom formula for more flexibility. Excel evaluates the formula used in conditional formatting. It evaluates the formula relative to the cell that is active. This evaluation is done in the selection of the time the rule was created. We are using COUNTIF in the range with an absolute address. But the first cell is relative. Therefore, the range remains unchanged. But, the relative cell A1 changes for each iteration.

**Setting Up Data**

The following example contains a temperature database during the weekdays of December. Columns A, B, C and D has the name of the winners for each week.

* Figure 2. The Data Set*

To highlight duplicate values, we need to:

- Select cells
**A2 to D6**with your mouse. - From the
**home**tab in the ribbon, go to**Conditional Formatting > New Rule**.

* Figure 3. Example of how to Apply Conditional Formatting*

- Click on
**Use a formula to determine which cells to format**.

* Figure 4. Applying the Formula*

- In the
**Format values where this formula is true**box, we need to assign the formula

.**=COUNTIF ($A$2:$D$6,A2)>1** - Then, we have to click on the
**Format**tab beside the preview box. - Go to
**Fill>Background Color**and set it to the color you want to highlight to.

* Figure 5. Setting the Format of Display*

- Click
**Ok**. This will redirect us back to the previous formula box. We need to click**Ok**for the last time.

* Figure 6. Example of the Final Result*

This will highlight the duplicate cells containing the temperatures 9,10 and 13 in columns A to D.

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