Have you ever used a Microsoft Excel AutoFilter? If not have you at least heard of it? No, well let me give you a quick overview of the Excel AutoFilter. The Excel AutoFilter allows you to filter and sort records based on one or more criteria. You do so using a simple interface, a drop-down lists. This is very helpful if you are dealing with large amounts of data. You can use the Microsoft Excel AutoFilter with both numerical and text data.

For example, let’s consider an Excel workbook where the main worksheet contains a table with the first name, last name, address (including state), etc. Now let’s say that you want to see only the records where the state is California. And let’s assume that you have on million rows. You could sort the data and search for the section containing those records with California as the state, or you could use the Microsoft Excel AutoFilter feature, where you can click the mouse once, and see only those records with the state being equal to California. Now do you see the power of the AutoFilter? Pretty cool huh.

Here are the details on how to apply AutoFilter. The first thing that you need to do is to select one of the cells in the header row for the data table. Then go to the “Home” ribbon. Select “Filter”. This will add filter buttons to each cell in the first row, the header row. To display only the rows that have California as the state, click on the filter button in the top row of the ‘State’ column. In the popup menu uncheck the “Select All” checkbox and check the “California” checkbox and click on “OK”. This will display all rows of contacts which list California as their state.

There are other AutoFilter options for filtering the data. Some of them are as follows, “Number filters” and “Text filters” in the AutoFilter menu for respective data types. Among those you can select “Equals”, “Does Not Equal”, “Begins With”, “Ends With”, “Contains”, “Does Not Contains”, “Less Than”, “Greater Than”, “Between”, “Top 10”, “Above Average”, “Below Average”, and more. You can also create your own customized filters. Many people do not know this, but AutoFilter can be also used for sorting the database in ascending or descending order. Making it even more powerful.

The Microsoft Excel AutoFilter, what an easy to use and powerful utility. Learn to use it today, or have us build it for you.