If you haven’t used the Auto Filter feature in Excel, your life is about to change!
Auto Filter allows you to categorize and filter data seamlessly. It is especially helpful when you have several columns of data and you want to see only portions of this data.
Let’s assume we have a spreadsheet full of names, phone numbers, and addresses (city, state, zip). We want to see a snapshot of people in “Texas’ and we want to see a snapshot of people who have an area code that begins with “615”.
Highlight the data that you want to filter, including the headers. Select the Data tab from the top of your Excel file and select the Filter icon. It looks like a funnel. All the fields in your header row now become a drop down.
Select the drop-down arrow on the “State” column. There will be several options. Under all the options is a list of each instance of data in that column. The first field is “Select All”. For this example, uncheck the “Select All” box. This will deselect all the data. Now go through the list and find “TX” for Texas and check this box. Click OK. You will now see only the rows of data that have “TX” listed in the state column.
Let’s try one more example. Select the drop-down in the phone number column. Go to “Text Filters…” and select “Begins With…”. Enter 615 in the text field. Click OK. Now you will only see phone numbers that begin with the area code 615.
Note: This example assumes States are entered as the two-digit abbreviation and phone numbers are entered as a text field, such as 615-555-5555.
If you are an Advocate Capital customer and need help preparing or manipulating data in the Excel application, feel free to contact me at [email protected]. If you have a question or idea for an Excel tip that you would like to see, please let us know! Thanks for being our customer!
Photo Credit: Dmitriy Shironosov