At this point, many users have become acquainted with the UNIQUE function.
The UNIQUE function returns unique rows in the provided source range, discarding duplicates. Rows are returned in the order in which they first appear in the source range.
For a more detailed explanation of the UNIQUE function along with some examples of its use, check out this Google Docs link to the UNIQUE function.
To demonstrate the process of generating a unique list, let’s start with a single column example.
We write the below UNIQUE function to create a unique list of Apps located in “Europe”.
Using Values Across Columns
If your values are listed in a single row (i.e., spanning multiple columns), you can use an additional argument in the UNIQUE function to tell it to “look” across columns instead of across rows.
“Can we use rows and columns at the same time?”
Now let’s see if we can feed the UNIQUE function a matrix of values.
Enter the following formula that uses range A2 through E13 as the source values.
We see that it fails to produce the desired result.
The reason this fails is that UNIQUE is treating all the values of a row as a single criterion. In other words, if we see the values on Row 2, we are trying to find another row with “deRambler, Fightrr, Kryptis, Perino, deRambler”.
Because no other row has that same series of Apps, Row 2 is considered to be unique amongst the other rows.
If UNIQUE can’t handle the task, perhaps a different function may be able to.