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: Using AutoFiltering.

Using AutoFiltering

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 8, 2013)

Filtering a list means displaying only a part of it. You provide the criteria you want used and then Excel displays only those list records that match the criteria. Filtering is especially useful if you have a large list and you want to work with only a subset of the records in the list.

The easiest way to filter your list is to use the AutoFilter feature. You do this by following these steps:

  1. Select any cell in your list.
  2. Choose Filter from the Data menu. Excel displays a submenu.
  3. Select AutoFilter from the submenu. Excel determines where your column (field) labels are located and adds pull-down arrows to the right side of each label's cell.

AutoFilter is now alive and well in your workbook. If you click on one of these pull-down arrows, Excel displays the unique values in that column (field). You can then select one of the values and Excel displays only those records that match that value for that field. (The pull-down arrow then turns blue.) All the rest of the records in the list will be hidden.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2246) 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: Using AutoFiltering.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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