Quick start: Filter data by using an AutoFilter

By filtering information in a worksheet, you can find values quickly. You can filter on one or more columns of data. With filtering, you can control not only what you want to see, but what you want to exclude. You can filter based on choices you make from a list, or you can create specific filters to focus on exactly the data that you want to see.

You can search for text and numbers when you filter by using the Search box in the filter interface.

When you filter data, entire rows are hidden if values in one or more columns don't meet the filtering criteria. You can filter on numeric or text values, or filter by color for cells that have color formatting applied to their background or text.


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Select the data that you want to filter

Selected data

  1. On the Home tab, in the Edit group, click Sort & Filter, and then click Filter.


  1. Click the arrow Filter drop-down arrow in the column header to display a list in which you can make filter choices.

Note    Depending on the type of data in the column, Excel Starter displays either Number Filters or Text Filters in the list.

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Selecting values from a list and searching are the quickest ways to filter. When you click the arrow in a column that has filtering enabled, all values in that column appear in a list.

Filtering data

Callout 1 Use the Search box to enter text or numbers on which to search
Callout 2 Select and clear the check boxes to show values that are found in the column of data
Callout 3 Use advanced criteria to find values that meet specific conditions
  1. To select by values, in the list, clear the (Select All) check box. This removes the check marks from all the check boxes. Then, select only the values you want to see, and click OK to see the results.
  2. To search on text in the column, enter text or numbers in the Search box. Optionally, you can use wildcard characters, such as the asterisk (*) or the question mark (?). Press ENTER to see the results.
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Filter data by specifying conditions    

By specifying conditions, you can create custom filters that narrow down the data in the exact way that you want. You do this by building a filter. If you've ever queried data in a database, this will look familiar to you.

  1. Point to either Number Filters or Text Filters in the list. A menu appears that allows you to filter on various conditions.
  2. Choose a condition and then select or enter criteria. Click the And button to combine criteria (that is, two or more criteria that must both be met), and the Or button to require only one of multiple conditions to be met.
  3. Click OK to run the filter operation.

Next steps

Filtering is one way to arrange your data in a meaningful way. Another is to sort the data. To learn how, see Quick start: Sort data by using an AutoFilter.

When your worksheet looks the way you want, you might want to print it. To learn how, see Quick start: Print a worksheet.

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