Working with Large Lists in Microsoft Excel

There are a lot of times when you’re working with a data sheet containing a lot of information where you essentially want to filter the information – find only those rows that have information you care about.  It’s a pretty simple thing to do with the handy AutoFilter feature in Microsoft Excel.  Just highlight your data (be sure to get all of it – all rows and columns in your data table) and select Data, Filter, AutoFilter.

When you do, you’ll notice new list box arrows at the top of each column.  Click that list box arrow and you’ll have several options for selecting information.  You’ll be able to select specific values, ranges of values, top n values and so-forth.  It’s really a great way to help manage large number of rows of data – and make it more straightforward to work with in your analysis.
If you have multiple columns of data, you can select first from one, then the other.  The filters will, in essence, be combined.  For example if one column was State and one was City, working with the entire data set could be tedious.  Add in the AutoFilter and then select State of Arizona.  Next, you can select Miami and you’ll only be looking at the Miami in Arizona, not in Florida.  Simple example, but hopefully you get the idea.

To return to “regular” unfiltered mode, just select Data, Filter, AutoFilter again and the list boxes will be removed.

Now! easily filter your data in Microsoft Excel.



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