Filtering Data

Filtering in Excel lets you temporarily hide unwanted data. Use filters in Excel to narrow down data in your Excel spreadsheet.

Advanced filtering

To filter using search:

Searching for data is a convenient alternative to checking or unchecking data from the list. You can search for data that contains an exact phrase, number, date, or simple fragment. For example, searching for the exact phrase Saris X-10 Laptop will display only Saris X-10 laptops. Searching for the word Saris, however, will display Saris X-10 laptops and any other Saris equipment, including projectors and digital cameras.

  1. From the Data tab, click the Filter command.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow in the column you want to filter. In this example, we'll filter the Equipment Detail column to view only a specific brand.
  3. Enter the data you want to view in the Search box. We'll enter the word Saris to find all Saris brand equipment. The search results will appear automatically.
    Entering a searchEntering a search
  4. Check the boxes next to the data you want to display. We'll display all of the data that includes the brand name Saris.
  5. Click OK. The worksheet will be filtered according to your search term.
    Worksheet filtered using SearchWorksheet filtered using Search

Using advanced text filters

Advanced text filters can be used to display more specific information, such as cells that contain a certain number of characters or data that does not contain a word you specify. In this example, we'll use advanced text filters to hide any equipment that is related to cameras, including digital cameras and camcorders.

  1. From the Data tab, click the Filter command.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow in the column of text you want to filter. In this example, we'll filter the Equipment Detail column to view only certain types of equipment.
  3. Choose Text Filters to open the advanced filtering menu.
  4. Choose a filter. In this example, we will choose Does Not Contain to view data that does not contain the text we specify.
    Selecting a text filterSelecting a text filter
  5. The Custom AutoFilter dialog box appears.
  6. Enter your text to the right of your filter. In this example, we'll enter cam to view data that does not contain these letters. That will exclude any equipment related to cameras, such as digital cameras, camcorders, camera bags, and the digicam printer.
    Entering filter textEntering filter text
  7. Click OK. The data will be filtered according to the filter you chose and the text you specified.