Lists: Delete duplicate entries in personal list

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
Hi all!
I am asking for help related to my personal lists

Since the jurassic I used imdb watchlist as the list containing the titles I have seen, not the one I have to see.
The reason for that is that, at the beginning, personalized lists were missing (or at least I couldn't find them) and, when new lists were added, a functionality to completely compy lists was missing.

Now I see that this functionality have been implemented...and I used it.

What happened, unfortunately, is that a lot of title get duplicated and I could not find all of them, considering that, when editing, the alphabetical order is not provided.
So I am here to ask if you encountered the same problem and, if so, how did you solve it!

Thank you!
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Christian Quintavalle

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Posted 2 years ago

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Claire, Official Rep

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Hi Christian,

Thanks for providing this feedback. Please know that at this time, the only sort options available in "Edit mode" for a list are List Order and Date Added. I'm sorry for any inconvenience this may cause

I've passed along this feedback to the appropriate team; we'll also change this post to an "Idea" where it can be reviewed by other IMDb staff and users for consideration for future updates.

Let us know if we can offer further help.
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Christian Quintavalle

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Glad to be helpful!
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bderoes, Champion

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You didn't mention how long is the list where you seek duplicates, and whether you need to preserve your custom comments or not, and whether you care about preserving the title's placement in the list.

If it's the list is of moderate length and you don't care about keeping comments or order, sort it alphabetically using Advanced Title Search, compact mode to get something easier to scan. For instance:,asc&count=250

Once you spot the duplicate, go to its title page and (assuming you use standard view, not reference view), and unselect it from the target list, then re-add it to the list. (Unselecting from the title page deletes all occurrences within the list.)

On the other end of the spectrum, if it's a really long list and you need to preserve comments and/or order in the list, here's a method I documented a couple of months ago using Export:

In case someone is reading this who wants to find duplicates in their own long list, here's what I did in Open Office Spreadsheet; Excel will be the same with one possible exception noted below:
  1. sort the whole sheet by the title ID
  2. insert a new column before col A
  3. in cell A2, enter the formula =IF(OR(C2=C3;C2=C1);"*****";"")
    1. in Excel each ; might need to be ,
    2. I used the OR to see both dupes after step 8
  4. copy cell A2
  5. highlight all the cells in column A that have title data in their row (I do this by ctrl-End to the bottom of the list, highlight the last col A cell, hold shift while pushing the scroll bar up to the top, and clicking on the cell A3)
  6. paste the clipboard to all those highlighted cells (you could paste to the whole column, but I've had trouble with that in the past).   //Rather than scrolling through the list, I want to bring the dupes to the top, so:
  7. highlight col A, copy col A, Paste Special (not just Paste) col A (text but not formulas)
  8. click on a cell in col A (very important!) to release the highlight, then sort Z to A 
You should see your dupes at the top of the list.

If you don't want to deal with formulas, just sorting the export in the spreadsheet by the Title, then visually scan for duplicates, and observe the Position number for the version you want to delete, and then find it in Edit mode.
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Christian Quintavalle

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Thank you for the detailed explanations.

I  had a list with almost 1000 titles, without comments. Once moved the title in the other list, the counter says 1700+. Entering the list, I can actually see a lot of duplicates.

Using the advance tool, on the other hand, I get, once again, a list with the original 1000 no chance to find all the duplicates that way.

Exporting the list is the easier solution, but, once detected the duplicates, I have to manually delete more than 700 entries. I wonder if, by contacting someone in the support team, they could perform a query server side in order to fix the problem!

Ps: is there an "import" function from csv?
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bderoes, Champion

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My apologies for forgetting that the Advanced Title Search doesn't show duplicates. So Export is your best tool. There is another option, built into IMDb: the Seen function. (There is also a bookmarklet written by a fellow user to view custom lists compactly after you've sorted/refined them, but that doesn't help with position number.) 

I don't imagine there is any way to delete except by hand. 

In future, the best way to avoid duplicates is to use Advanced Title Search to compare 2 lists to find what they have in common before copying from one to another. You can also do this if the list you're drawing from is not your own:

No, there is no import function.

A good solution for the long term would be if IMDb brought back the Compact View. If you'd like to vote for that, there's an idea already posted here:

And here are requests to enhance Edit mode, including to provide sorting alphabetically: