Question: How do I create a unique distinct list from a column, sorted by occurance?

Answer:

unique list sorted based on occurrance

Array formula in A17:

=INDEX(List, MATCH(IF(MAX(COUNTIF(List, List)*IF(COUNTIF(A$16:$A16, List)=1, 0, 1))=0, 1, MAX(COUNTIF(List, List)*IF(COUNTIF(A$16:$A16, List)=1, 0, 1))), COUNTIF(List, List)*IF(COUNTIF(A$16:$A16, List)=1, 0, 1), 0)) + CTRL+ SHIFT + ENTER

copied down as far as needed.

Formula in B17:

=COUNTIF(List, A17) + ENTER

copied down as far as needed.

Named ranges
List (A2:A20)
What is named ranges?

How to customize the formula to your excel spreadsheet
Change the named ranges. If your unique list starts at F3, change A$16:$A16 in the above array formula to $F$2:F2

Download excel sample file for this tutorial.
Unique distinct list sorted based on occurrance in a column.xls
(Excel 97-2003 Workbook *.xls)

Functions in this article:

MATCH(lookup_value;lookup_array; [match_type] Returns the relative position of an item in an array that matches a specified value

INDEX(array,row_num,[column_num])
Returns a value or reference of the cell at the intersection of a particular row and column, in a given range

IF(logical_test;[value_if:true];[value_if_false])
Checks whether a condition is met, and returns one value if TRUE, and another value if FALSE

ROW(reference) returns the rownumber of a reference

COUNTIF(range,criteria)
Counts the number of cells within a range that meet the given condition

MAX(number1,[number2],)
Returns the largest value in a set of values. Ignores logical values and text.

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