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: Performing Calculations while Filtering.

Performing Calculations while Filtering

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 6, 2015)

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. Other ExcelTips have described different ways you can create and apply filters to your worksheets.

When you are using the advanced filtering capabilities of Excel you can perform calculations during the filtering process. For instance, let's assume you have a large inventory list in a worksheet, and you want to filter the list to show only those records that were in a particular department and that have a higher-than-average profit. The inventory is contained in starts at cell A6 (with your column headings) and the profit is listed in column I. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Example inventory data in a worksheet.

You can use an advanced filter by setting up your criteria in other cells. For instance, let's say that your criteria are in the cell range A1:B2. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Example filtering criteria.

Row 1 contains the names of the columns in your datasheet that you want compared in the filtering. Thus, cell A1 contains the name "Item" because you want the value under it (in cell A2) to be used in filtering the data table based on the contents of the Item column. There is no column name in cell B1 because you aren't keying the criteria on a column's contents; you want it based on a calculation. Here are the formulas you should place in cells A2 and B2:

Cell Formula
A2 ="W2*"
B2 =I7>AVERAGE($I$7:$I$42)

This example provides for a text comparison related to the department number (in cell A2) and a comparison of the profit for the item (I7, which is a relative cell reference and therefore changes for each comparison) to the average profit for the entire inventory ($I$7:$I$42, which is an absolute reference and therefore does not change for each comparison). If an absolute reference had not been used for the AVERAGE function, the wrong results would have been generated by the filtering.

When you apply an advanced filter to your inventory data (as described in other ExcelTips), the result, using the above criteria, is that only those records that had a profit greater than the average (the average in I7:I42) were displayed.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2982) 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: Performing Calculations while Filtering.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding Functions

Do some macro programming in VBA and you'll quickly find out that you can use functions to extend the power and flexibility ...

Discover More

Aligning Decimal Numbers in Tables

Need to align numbers around their decimal point within a table? It's easy to do by using the three simple steps provided in ...

Discover More

Repeating Table Rows with Manual Page Breaks

Need to make sure part of a table is on one page and part on another? The way to do so is not to use manual page breaks, for ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Extracting Targeted Records from a List

When working with large amounts of data, you may have a need to extract just the information that meets the criteria you ...

Discover More

Copying the Results of Filtering

Filtering is a great asset when you need to get a handle on a subset of your data. Excel even makes it easy to copy the ...

Discover More

Copying Comments when Filtering

The advanced filtering feature in Excel allows you to quickly copy unique information from one data list to another. If you ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share