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Copying the Results of Filtering

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Copying the Results of Filtering.

If you use the advanced filtering capabilities of Excel, you are not limited to filtering "in place." You can also do the equivalent of a database extraction, which is a two-step process. First, the list is filtered, and then the records that match your criteria are copied to a different area of the worksheet.

To instruct Excel to copy the results of a filtering, follow these steps:

  1. Select the area you want to filter.
  2. Choose Filter from the Data menu, then choose Advanced Filter. Excel displays the Advanced Filter dialog box, with the address of your original data table already filled in, in the List Range box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Advanced Filter dialog box.

  4. Set your filtering options as desired.
  5. Make sure the Copy to Another Location radio button is selected.
  6. Specify a copy destination in the Copy To field.
  7. Click on OK.

When you specify a destination for the copy (step 5), you have three options. First, if you specify a single cell as the destination, then Excel copies the results of the filtering, regardless of the number of records extracted. If you are working with a large list and the results of the filtering might be many, many rows, however, you might not want to do this. In this case, make the destination a row selection. Excel will then only copy that many rows. Thus, if the result of the filtering was 47 records, and your destination was a selection of 12 rows, only the first 12 records are copied. The final option is to select a range of cells. This limits the copy to the number or rows and columns specified by the range.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2859) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Copying the Results of Filtering.

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Comments for this tip:

Peter Kirkpatrick    20 May 2015, 19:01
There is a limitation to the Advanced Filter option. Using this method you can only copy to the active sheet. So the above tip is correct assuming that's what you want to do, but doesn't help you otherwise.

This really frustrated me until I was given the solution, which is *not* to follow step 1. Don't start with the data location, start with the destination location. If you are planning to copy from Sheet1 to Sheet3, Step 1 needs to be "Click on any cell in Sheet3". Step 2 is "Open the Advanced Filter dialog". Then go to Sheet1 to select ranges as required. (hth someone else!)

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