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Data validation unique values only

Excel formula: Data validation unique values only
Generic formula 

To allow only unique values in a given range, you can use data validation with a custom formula based on the COUNTIF function. In the example shown, the data validation applied to C5:C9 is:


where emails is the named range C5:C9.


Data validation rules are triggered when a user adds or changes a cell value. In this example, we are using a formula that checks that the input doesn't already exist in the named range "emails":


COUNTIF returns a count of the value in C5 inside the named range emails (C5:C9). If the count is less than 2, the expression returns TRUE and validation succeeds. If not, the expression returns FALSE and validation fails.

Note: Cell references in data validation formulas are relative to the upper left cell in the range selected when the validation rule is defined, in this case B5.

Dave Bruns

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