Remove duplicate objects in an array - JavaScript Share postShare icon

When all objects have the same keys

Let’s say you have an array of objects with duplicate entries:

const input = [
  { name: 'lorem', item: 'ipsum' },
  { name: 'per', item: 'doming' },
  { name: 'dolor', item: 'lorem' },
  { name: 'usu', item: 'pericula' },
  { name: 'per', item: 'doming' },
  { item: 'doming', name: 'per' },
  { name: 'dolor', item: 'lorem' },
  { name: 'quem', item: 'graece' },
  { item: 'graece', name: 'quem' },
  { name: 'sonet', item: 'labitur' }
];

A usual way of removing the duplicate objects is to use JSON.stringify() and insert each entry into a Set then convert back to array. This approach can work if the keys are in the same order, but notice that input has two objects with different order than the rest:

const input = [
  { name: 'lorem', item: 'ipsum' },
  { name: 'per', item: 'doming' },
  { name: 'dolor', item: 'lorem' },
  { name: 'usu', item: 'pericula' },
  { name: 'per', item: 'doming' },
  { item: 'doming', name: 'per' },
  { name: 'dolor', item: 'lorem' },
  { name: 'quem', item: 'graece' },
  { item: 'graece', name: 'quem' },
  { name: 'sonet', item: 'labitur' }
]

In this case, we can use Object.fromEntries() and Object.entries() to deal with duplicates; I discovered these functions while working on hexojs/hexo-migrator-wordpress#89. This involves two processes:

  1. Convert an array of objects to an object.
  2. Convert the object back to an array of objects.

The trick here lies with the first step because an object cannot have duplicate keys. Before we use Object.fromEntries(), we first remove the keys:

const stepOne = input.map(({ name, item }) => [name, item])
console.log(stepOne)

[
  [ 'lorem', 'ipsum' ],
  [ 'per', 'doming' ],
  [ 'dolor', 'lorem' ],
  [ 'usu', 'pericula' ],
  [ 'per', 'doming' ],
  [ 'per', 'doming' ],
  [ 'dolor', 'lorem' ],
  [ 'quem', 'graece' ],
  [ 'quem', 'graece' ],
  [ 'sonet', 'labitur' ]
]

I’m using Object destructure here:

input.map(({ name, item }) => [name, item])

// is equivalent to
input.map((element) => [element.name, element.item])

Then we pass stepOne to Object.entries:

const stepTwo = Object.entries(stepOne)
console.log(stepTwo)

{
  lorem: 'ipsum',
  per: 'doming',
  dolor: 'lorem',
  usu: 'pericula',
  quem: 'graece',
  sonet: 'labitur'
}

Now we have a de-duplicated object. Then, we use Object.entries() to convert it to an array:

const stepThree = Object.entries(stepTwo)
console.log(stepThree)

[
  [ 'lorem', 'ipsum' ],
  [ 'per', 'doming' ],
  [ 'dolor', 'lorem' ],
  [ 'usu', 'pericula' ],
  [ 'quem', 'graece' ],
  [ 'sonet', 'labitur' ]
]

Finally, we loop through each element to convert it back to object:

const stepFour = stepThree.map(([name, item]) => {
  return { name, item }
})

console.log(stepFour)

[
  { name: 'lorem', item: 'ipsum' },
  { name: 'per', item: 'doming' },
  { name: 'dolor', item: 'lorem' },
  { name: 'usu', item: 'pericula' },
  { name: 'quem', item: 'graece' },
  { name: 'sonet', item: 'labitur' }
]
const stepFour = stepThree.map(([name, item]) => {
  return {
    name,
    item
  }
})

// is equivalent to
const stepFour = stepThree.map((element) => {
  return {
    name: element[0],
    item: element[1]
  }
})

To put everything together:

// in one-line
const output = Object.entries(Object.fromEntries(input.map(({ name, item }) => [name, item]))).map(([name, item]) => { return { name, item } })

// in a function
const dedup = (inArray) => {
  return Object.entries(Object.fromEntries(input.map(({ name, item }) => {
    return [name, item]
  })))
    .map(([name, item]) => {
      return { name, item }
    })
}

const output = dedup(input)