How do I get a list of all distinct values from a column of values?

Basically, this question:

How do I get the distinct/unique values in a column in Excel?

but I need the answer for Open Office Calc instead of MS Excel.

I'm using Open Office 3.2


4 Answers 4


You can do this with the OpenOffice advanced filter (on the main menu..Data/Filter/Advanced Filter)

  1. Ensure your column of data has a title at the top, e.g. title and that the data is contiguous (no empty cells) or select the whole column including empty cells by clicking on the column header.,
  2. Create a filter criterion that would include all the data in your column, e.g. in cell D1 enter title; in cell D2 enter >" ". Use any unused cells in your spreadsheet - these are just temporary inputs which are needed to apply the filter.
  3. Select the header of your data column to highlight the whole column, then choose Data/Filter/Advanced Filter.
  4. In the box that opens, for 'Read Filter Criteria from' choose both cells of your filter (e.g. D1 and D2)
  5. Click the 'More' button and check the 'No duplication' box. Optionally you can choose to copy the filtered data somewhere else. Click OK and distinct cells will be displayed.

Not very intuitive, but once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast.

  • THANKS!!! This is gold. I was looking for exactly this and Google pointed me here. I know how to use Advanced Filter to do the same thing in excel but I needed to figure out how to accomplish this in OpenOffice. You are exactly right with this, I hope your answer is accepted!
    – gMale
    Feb 17, 2011 at 21:20
  • A couple more things: this didn't work very well when formulas were in the cells. So I cut/paste to another column as text (via paste special) and then it worked fine. Also, for the criteria, I used <>"" instead of >" ", it seemed to work better with my data
    – gMale
    Feb 17, 2011 at 21:21
  • I had a range of values with date format. <> " " worked well, while >" " did not. Jul 12, 2015 at 12:38

I found a more simple way to do that:

  1. Select the whole column

  2. Data > Filter > Standard Filter

  3. Change 'Field Name' to -none- , click on 'More options' and check on 'No duplication' box

That's it. You can copy and paste the filtered fields if you want contiguously numbered cells.

  • 1
    fast and simple... sweet!! ;) Aug 10, 2013 at 0:45
  • 1
    nice and effective :)
    – Anwar
    Nov 11, 2015 at 6:11
  • 3
    This answer is pertinently wrong for the question posed! It does not get distinct values, it instead removes all duplicate values , the result of a list populated with {1,2,2,3,4} would be {1,3,4}. The unique value 2 is missing! The result should be {1,2,3,4}.
    – Joeppie
    May 16, 2018 at 8:26
  • 1
    You probably have left column name defined instead of ‘-none-‘.
    – Dennis
    May 17, 2018 at 9:27
  • Nice one Dennis that worked perfectly for me. IDK wot @Joeppie is on about, maybe he didn't follow the instructions, like you said ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Feb 4, 2020 at 4:52

You could try the procedure described in http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/How_Tos/Removing_Duplicate_Rows to completely remove non-unique rows according to the column in question, or select rows based on the new column.


Pressing Alt + Down while selecting a cell in the column produced a dropdown list of distinct values in that column for me.

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