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Extracting Targeted Records from a List

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: Extracting Targeted Records from a List.

In a business environment, it is not unusual to use Excel to help manage the data you need to work with every day. For instance, you may use Excel to "crunch" invoice data, shipping records, or any number of different types of data. When working with that data, you may need to extract different records based upon particular criteria.

This is where the filtering capabilities of Excel come in handy. Consider the scenario where you have several thousand orders, covering customers across the country. You may want to extract the orders that belong to customers in targeted states, so that you can process them first. You can do this using the advanced filtering capabilities of Excel. (For these steps, assume that the data you want to filter is in columns A through K.)

  1. Make sure that every column in your data list has a label that describes what is in that column. For instance, the column containing each customer's state could have "State" as a label.
  2. In cell N1, enter the word "State". You are setting up a criteria table in this column, and this label informs Excel which column you want to use in matching criteria. Make this cell bold, and underline it, if desired.
  3. Starting in cell N2, enter the states you want to extract from the main data list. Enter one state per cell in the column.
  4. Select a cell somewhere within columns A through K, in your main data.
  5. 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 in the List Range box. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Advanced Filter dialog box.

  7. Make sure the Copy to Another Location option is selected.
  8. Place the insertion pointer in the Criteria Range box, then select (on the worksheet) the range of cells in column N that comprise the list of states. Make sure you include cell N1, which is the label.
  9. Place the insertion pointer in the Copy To box, then select a cell where you want the records extracted to. You can select a cell on the same worksheet or on a different worksheet.
  10. If you want to leave out any duplicate records, make sure the Unique Records Only check box is selected.
  11. Click on OK.

That's it—Excel copies those records that have one of your target states to whatever location you specified in step 8, and the original data is left unchanged.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2941) 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: Extracting Targeted Records from a List.

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