Excel Tip Tuesday: Auto Filters

Posted by Lisa on August 7, 2018 at 9:30 AM

Excel IconWe took a few weeks off. Hey! It's summer! But we're back with more tips to improve your use of Excel. Let's begin with Auto Filters.

Using Auto Filters is my favorite ways to filter and sort data! Let's start with a worksheet that contains a data table I'd like to analyze. First, I have to turn on Auto Filters. To do that, I navigate to the Home tab and select Sort & Filter > Filter, like this:

Excel Tips - Auto Filters1

When filters are turned on, we suddenly find that Excel has added small drop-down arrows at the top of every column:

Excel Tips - Auto Filters2

The options for filtering will be different depending on the properties of each column. Typically, you can filter by color, text, search, or just select items from the check box. To clear the filter, click on 'Clear Filter'.

Excel Tips - Auto Filters3

You can filter on multiple columns or even sort within the filters themselves. On the 'Inv Date' column, I'll select a custom date in order to filter data prior to 2/1/2010, like so:

Excel Tips - Auto Filters4

For the 'Inv Amount' column, I'm selecting a custom number filter, where the amount is greater than or equal to 1000:

Excel Tips - Auto Filters5

And on the 'Vendor' column, I'm simply sorting from A to Z:

Excel Tips - Auto Filters6

Here are my results. I can easily identify the column that is sorted by the up arrow, and the 'Inv Date' and 'Invoice Amount' columns are clearly identified as filtered by the filter icons:

Excel Tips - Auto Filters7

To completely clear a filter, just click that little filter icon and select 'Clear Filter From...'

Excel Tips - Auto Filters8

Have fun making your data more easy to find!

Leave us a comment and let readers know what Excel tips you use on a daily basis.

Topics: Excel

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