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Unique values ignore blanks

Excel formula: Unique values ignore blanks
Generic formula 
=UNIQUE(FILTER(data,data<>""))
Explanation 

To extract a list of unique values from a set of data, ignoring blank cells, you can use the UNIQUE function together with the FILTER function. In the example shown, the formula in D5 is:

=UNIQUE(FILTER(B5:B16,B5:B16<>""))

which outputs the 5 unique values seen in D5:D9.

How this formula works

This example uses the UNIQUE function together with the FILTER function. Working from the inside out, the FILTER function is first used to remove any blank values from the data:

FILTER(B5:B16,B5:B16<>"")

The <> symbol is a logical operator that means "does not equal". For more examples of operators in formula criteria see this page.

FILTER returns an array of values, excluding empty strings:

{"red";"amber";"green";"green";"blue";"pink";"red";"blue";"amber"}

This array is returned directly to the UNIQUE function as the array argument. UNIQUE then removes duplicates, and returns the final array:

{"red";"amber";"green";"blue";"pink"}

UNIQUE and FILTER are dynamic functions. If data in B5:B16 changes, the output will update immediately.

Dynamic source range

Because the range B5:B15 is hardcoded directly into the formula, it won't change if data is added or deleted. To use a dynamic range that will automatically resize as needed, you can use an Excel Table, or create a dynamic named range with a formula. 

Note: This function is a new "Dynamic Array Function" in Excel. It is a beta feature available only through the Office Insiders program. Dynamic Array functions are expected to be released in 2019 to Office 365 subscribers.
Author 
Dave Bruns

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