Data that's in rows and columns can be filtered. You might filter data to show only sales by one salesperson out of many, instead of reading through row after row of all salespersons' data to review the sales for that one salesperson. When you filter data, the other data is hidden from view.
In the picture, you might use the AutoFilter arrows to see only the sales made by Leverling.
On the Data menu, point to Filter, and then click AutoFilter. An arrow appears at the top of the column in which you've selected data to filter. You click the arrow and select what you want to see.
You can also sort data differently by clicking either Sort Ascending or Sort Descending in the list on the AutoFilter arrow. You might do this with dates, order amounts, names, or any kind of data that has to do with the alphabet or numbers.
Tip Another way to use AutoFilter arrows is to use the List command, which is a new feature in Microsoft Office Excel 2003. The command, on the Data menu, automatically adds the AutoFilter arrows, creates a list, and displays a total row. The List command also makes it easy to share data with others by publishing the list to a server that is running Microsoft Windows® SharePoint® Services. You can learn how to use the new list feature in Lists I: How to use lists in Excel 2003.