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VBA – Populate Array with Unique Values from Column

This tutorial will teach you how to populate an array with unique values from a column in VBA.

Populate Array with Unique Values from Column

Taking a list of values from an Excel sheet into an Array is a matter of looping through the rows in  Excel and populating the array.

Consider the following list of customers in an Excel sheet.

vba array unique values 1

Using a loop, we could populate an Array in VBA.  However, a standard loop will loop through each row, including duplicate rows and you will end up with duplicate values in your Array.

The solution to to loop through the cells and populate a Collection object with the values as a collection object will not allow duplicates.  You can then use that collection object to populate your array.

Sub PopulateUniqueArray()
  Dim StrCustomers() As String
  Dim Col As New Collection
  Dim valCell As String
  Dim i As Integer
  Dim n As Integer
'count the rows in the range
  n = Range("A1", Range("A1").End(xlDown)).Rows.Count
'Populate Temporary Collection
  On Error Resume Next
  For i = 0 To n
    valCell = Range("A1").Offset(i, 0).Value
    Col.Add valCell, valCell
  Next i
  Err.Clear
  On Error GoTo 0
'Resize n
  n = Col.Count
'Redeclare array
  ReDim StrCustomers(1 To n)
'Populate Array by looping through the collection
  For i = 1 To Col.Count
    StrCustomers(i) = Col(i)
  Next i
  Debug.Print Join(StrCustomers(), vbCrLf)
End Sub

Populate Array w/ Unique Values – Function

The above example showed a procedure that would perform your desired actions. But instead you might prefer a portable Function to perform the task:

Function CreateUniqueList(nStart as Long, nEnd as long) as Variant
   Dim Col As New Collection
   Dim arrTemp() As String
   Dim valCell As String
   Dim i As Integer
'Populate Temporary Collection
   On Error Resume Next
   For i = 0 To nEnd 
      valCell = Range("A" & nStart).Offset(i, 0).Value
      Col.Add valCell, valCell
   Next i
   Err.Clear
   On Error GoTo 0
'Resize n
   nEnd = Col.Count
'Redeclare array
   ReDim arrTemp(1 To nEnd )
'Populate temporary array by looping through the collection
   For i = 1 To Col.Count
      arrTemp(i) = Col(i)
   Next i
'return the temporary array to the function result
   CreateUniqueList = arrTemp()
End Function

To use the Function, you’ll need to call it from a Sub Procedure:

Sub PopulateArray()
   Dim StrCustomers() As String
   Dim strCol as Collection
   Dim n As Long
'count the rows in the range
   n = Range("A1", Range("A1").End(xlDown)).Rows.Count
'run the function to create an array of unique values
   strCustomers() = CreateUniqueList(1,n)
End Sub   

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