Carpe diem: Excel - Filtering the Information You Need

Excel – Filtering, simple examples but you can filter out as much or as little as you need.

Filtering information entered into a spreadsheet is a useful tool if you have a lot of data in a spreadsheet and need to see only part of it.  It is easier for me to explain with pictures.

I made a small spreadsheet using plants.  Do not pay attention to the names of the plants or any information about them.  This is a sample and I KNOW the information is not correct but did not want to spend all day creating a spreadsheet just to use as a sample.  This is just to show you how to filter.

Now, let’s get started.

Here is my plant spread sheet and I want to know which plants in flower bed 1 will bloom in the spring.

Pretend I have a spreadsheet about 3 pages long and cannot easily see all my entries.

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Click on the ALL button (even though it probably is not necessary, it just makes me feel better).  Then click on the Data Tab, Filter.  Arrows will appear at the top of each column.

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To filter out only the plants in Bed 1, click on the arrow by the Column Bed 1 and a window will open. The choices in the window will represent the data in that column so uncheck everything except the box with the X.  The X represents that this plant is in flower bed 1.  Then Click OK.

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Now you will see only the plants you have in flower bed 1.

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To see what plants in bed 1 bloom in the spring, use the same process to filter the column Bloom Time.

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Now you have the plants in bed 1 that bloom in the spring.

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You can filter as many columns as you want to get the information needed.  When you finish you can just click on the Filter icon and all will return to normal.  If you want to keep the information you filtered, you can highlight it and print it or copy and paste it into another sheet to save.  To do that, highlight the data area, press CRTL and C to copy (or copy the way you normally use).  Click on Sheet 2 at the bottom.

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When Sheet 2 opens, click in the A1 cell and press CRTL and V to paste that information (or your usual way to paste).  The information will be there without the arrows from the filtering.  You can then rename Sheet 1 to Bed 1 spring.  Just a sample, remember.

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Now you have that information at your fingertips when needed.  This is a very simple example of how to use filtering.  If you have a large amount of data on your spreadsheet, you will, of course customize this to fit your needs.  There are many uses for this, not just for plant spreadsheets but for any information you have collected.

Questions, corrections or comments; Click Excel Forum.


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