The Select Duplicates command (in the Search menu) provides a fast and easy way to locate duplicate information in a database. The Select Duplicates command does not remove the duplicates, it simply selects them so you can examine them. You can then decide what to do about each duplicate on a case-by-case basis. You may select duplicates based on a single field (for example, all duplicate company names), on multiple fields (for example, all records with duplicate address, city, and state), or on a formula that may combine fields or use partial fields (for example, all records containing duplicate area codes).

To select duplicates based on a single field, start by using the Sort Up command to sort the database by that field. If the database is not sorted, the Select Duplicates command will warn you. For example, here is a conference registration database that may contain duplicate company information. It has been sorted into alphabetically order by company.

After the database is sorted, choose the Select Duplicates command from the Search menu. (Make sure you have clicked on the field you want to check for duplicates before selecting the command.) This command opens a dialog box with the formula for the current field pre-entered.

When you press the Select Duplicates button, Panorama will select the records that contain duplicate information (if any), making everything else invisible. As you can see, there are two possible sets of duplicate companies in this database.

Select Duplicates Using a Formula

To select duplicates based on multiple and/or partial fields, you’ll need to use a formula. The formula tells Panorama exactly what data should be checked for duplicates. For example, the Conference Registration database used in the previous example contains separate fields for first and last names. This formula could be used to check for duplicate names:

«First Name»+«Last Name»

If you wanted to check for duplicates using the first initial and the last name, you would use this formula (see Text Funnels to learn how [1,1] extracts the first character):

«First Name»[1,1]+«Last Name»

This formula would tell Panorama to treat John Doe, Joan Doe, and Jeff Doe as duplicates because they all have the same first initial and last name. Let’s search for duplicates in our conference registration file. Start by using the Sort Dialog to sort up by Last Name and First Name (see Sorting Data to learn about this dialog.

Now open the Select Duplicates command, and type in the formula that combines the first initial and last name:

Here is the final result. There are two R Jacobsen’s (Randy and Roxie), two J Jones (Jocelyn and Joe), two R Knights (Robin and Ronald), and two J South’s (both Joe).

Note: The formula must produce a text result. Date fields must be converted to text with the datepattern( function.

See Also


10.1.1NewNew in this version, but similar to a feature in Panorama 6.