Spring has sprung! Prune your duplicates!

Spring has sprung…or has it? Make pruning duplicates part of your database spring cleaning!

I had such high hopes for a decent spring turning into a super summer. It all looked so promising, but here we are instead in a wet and decidedly soggy June, wearing macs and Wellington boots and hoping for an improvement in temperatures and all things summery. Wasn’t there a song about June bursting out all over? Seems to me June’s not so much bursting out as stopping indoors in the warm and dry. Frankly, I can’t say as I blame her.

Disappointing though, isn’t it? I mean, we wait all year long for a bit of half-decent weather, and when we should by rights be expecting to slap on a bit of SPF, instead we get weather resembling something Noah might have seen as he stood on the prow of his boat. So much for Mungo Jerry’s ‘In the Summertime’ – this year’s theme song ought to be ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ minus the singing.

I really shouldn’t be surprised though. After all, it’s Wimbledon in a couple of weeks’ time, and it would be too much to expect a guarantee of good weather as we cheer Andy Murray to victory on his home turf. Now I’m not a player of tennis, you understand, but I do like to watch a few matches with a bowl of strawberries in one hand and a glass of chilled white in the other. Nothing finer on a nice summer’s day – when we have them. Maybe I ought to bite the bullet and start watching the football instead. After all, they seem to be enjoying better weather in France.  Unfortunately, though, football doesn’t score with me the way tennis does.

With summer turning into a washout, I am resolved to doing something constructive instead of lamenting what I’m missing out on. It’s not exactly glamorous or especially fun, but with nothing better to do it seems like a sensible option to tackle a bit of postponed spring cleaning.

By the way, in case you were wondering what I did on leap day (yes, I’d almost forgotten too, it was so long ago), I managed to tackle:

  • Check the database for duplicates
  • Clean out old data
  • Database repair
  • Database backup

Duplicate Checking

Within Act! duplicate checking criteria is set as default.  An administrator can change these criteria to best suit our business.

Method to set duplicate checking:

  • Within the database select Tools -> Preferences.


  • This will bring up the Preferences dialogue box. Within the Admin tab, click on Duplicate Checking.


  • This will bring up the Duplicate Checking dialogue box where we can decide what our criteria is going to be for our database.


There are going to be cases where we want to scan our database for existing duplicates, and in some cases we may want the duplicate checking to be on fields different from the ones that are used by default when a new contact is created.

Method to check the database for duplicates

  1. From within the Act! database go to Tools -> Scan for Duplicates…


  1. This will bring up the Scan for Duplicate Contact dialogue box.


  1. If duplicates are found then a list of contacts and a notice board will appear.


  1. Click Yes. This will bring up the Copy/Move Contact Data dialogue box. Click Next. This will bring up the Copy/Move Contact Data (2 of 7) page.


Within the Select from dropdown, we can choose from:

All Contacts

Current Lookup (Default)



In the search results table, we can see the values that have been suggested as duplicates. Select the ones that you would like to merge and click Next.

  1. This will move us onto the Copy/Move Contact Data (3 of 7) – Specify Source and Target Contact Records dialogue box. Here we decide whether we are going to map data from Contact 1 to Contact 2, or the other way around. Choose the mapping direction and click Next.


  1. This will bring up the Copy/Move Contact Data (4 of 7) – Copy Data from Source to Target Record dialogue box. This allows us to choose which individual fields should be copied from the source record to the target record. Click Next.


  1. This will bring us to the Copy/Move Contact Data (5 of 7) – Move Additional Items dialogue box, where we can decide which additional items to move from the source contact card. Click Next.


  1. This will bring up the Copy/Move Contact Data (6 of 7) – Delete the Source Record (Optional) dialogue box. This screen allows us to either keep the source record card or delete it from our database. Assuming you have copied all of the necessary information from the Source record to the Target record, you can choose Yes to remove the duplicate. Click Next, then click Finish.


The Wizard will work through the contact and will bring you back to the contact list view.


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