How To: Find duplicate or coincident features


Instructions provided describe two ArcGIS Desktop tools that are used to find and eliminate duplicate or coincident features.

When sets of data are combined, sometimes there are duplicate features that need to be identified and eliminated. This article describes tools for these tasks.


Introduced in version 10 of ArcGIS Desktop are two tools for managing duplicate records: 'Find Identical' and 'Delete Identical'. These tools can be found in the Data Management toolbox, General toolset, and require an ArcInfo license.

The Find Identical tool creates a table listing all records of the input table, and assigns a common ID to records that have the same values in designated fields. More than one field at a time can be evaluated. The Shape field can be specified to compare feature geometry for matches as well.

The Delete Identical tool performs the same function as Find Identical, but also deletes copies of a given record. Since the records are identical in the fields being compared, the record that is retained is chosen arbitrarily by the software.

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