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

If you need a filter for something specific, basic filtering may not give you enough options. Fortunately, Excel includes many advanced filtering tools, including search, text, date, and number filtering, which can narrow your results to help find exactly what you need.

To filter with search:

Excel allows you to search for data that contains an exact phrase, number, date, and more. In our example, we'll use this feature to show only Saris brand products in our equipment log.

  1. Select the Data tab, then click the Filter command. A drop-down arrow will appear in the header cell for each column. Note: If you've already added filters to your worksheet, you can skip this step.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow for the column you want to filter. In our example, we'll filter column C.
    Dropdown arrows in the header row
  3. The Filter menu will appear. Enter a search term into the search box. Search results will appear automatically below the Text Filters field as you type. In our example, we'll type saris to find all Saris brand equipment. When you're done, click OK.
    Applying a search filter
  4. The worksheet will be filtered according to your search term. In our example, the worksheet is now filtered to show only Saris brand equipment.
    The search filter has been applied to the worksheet

To use advanced text filters:

Advanced text filters can be used to display more specific information, like cells that contain a certain number of characters or data that excludes a specific word or number. In our example, we'd like to exclude any item containing the word laptop.

  1. Select the Data tab, then click the Filter command. A drop-down arrow will appear in the header cell for each column. Note: If you've already added filters to your worksheet, you can skip this step.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow for the column you want to filter. In our example, we'll filter column C.
    Dropdown arrows in the header row
  3. The Filter menu will appear. Hover the mouse over Text Filters, then select the desired text filter from the drop-down menu. In our example, we'll choose Does Not Contain to view data that does not contain specific text.
    Adding a custom filter in the dropdown menu
  4. The Custom AutoFilter dialog box will appear. Enter the desired text to the right of the filter, then click OK. In our example, we'll type laptop to exclude any items containing this word.
    The custom filter dialog box
  5. The data will be filtered by the selected text filter. In our example, our worksheet now displays items that do not contain the word laptop.
    The custom filter has been applied to the worksheet