Excel Column Filter (Table of Contents)
Filter Column in Excel
Filters in Excel is used for filtering the data, by selecting the data type in filter drop down. By using a filter, we can make out the data which we want to see or on which we need to work.
To access/apply a filter in any column of excel, go the Data menu tab, under Sort & Filter, we will find Filter option.
How to Filter a Column in Excel?
To filter a column in excel is a very simple and easy task. Let’s understand the working of how to filter a column in Excel with an example.
Excel Column Filter – Example #1
We have some sample data table in excel, where we will apply the filter in columns. Below is the screenshot of a data set, which has multiple columns and multiple rows with a variety of data set.
For applying Excel Column Filter, first select the top row, and the filter will be applied to the selected row only, as shown below. Sometimes when we work for a large set of data and select the filter directly, the current look of the sheet can be applied.
As we can see in the above screenshot, row 1 is selected and it is ready to apply the filters.
Now for applying filters, go to Data menu and under Sort & Filters, select Filters.
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Once we click on Filters, we can see the filters will be applied in the selected row, as shown in below screenshot.
The top row 1 now has the drop down. These drop down are those things, by which we can filter the data as per our need.
To open the drop down option in an applied filter, click on down arrow (as shown below) or go to any column top and press Alt + Down.
A drop-down menu will appear, as shown in below screenshot.
As we can see in the above screenshot, there are few filter options provided by Microsoft.
- Sort A to Z / Sort Oldest to Newest (for dates) / Sort Smallest to Largest (for numbers)
- Sort Z to A / Sort Newest to Oldest (for dates) / Sort Largest to Smallest (for numbers)
- Sort by Color
- Clear Filter From “Product Type” (This would entitle the name of columns where a filter is applied)
- Filter by Color
- Text Filters
- Search/Manual Filter
As we can see in the first screenshot, where data is in randomly scattered format. Let us apply the filter and see what changes happen in data. For that go to column A and in the drop-down menu select only Desktops, as shown in below screenshot and click on OK.
Once we do it, we will see, the data is now filtered with Desktop. And whatever the data is there in w.r.t. Desktop in rest of the columns will also get filtered, as the screenshot below.
As we can see in above screenshot, data is now filtered with Desktop and all the columns are also sorted with data available for Desktop. Also, the line numbers which are circled in the above screenshot, are also showing the random numbers. Which means that the filter which we have applied was in a random format, so the line numbers are also been scattered when we applied the filter.
Now, let’s try to apply the text filter, which is a very interesting part of filtering the data. For that, go to any of the columns, and click on the drop-down button to see the filter options.
Now go to Text Filters.
We will find a few more options available for filtering the data, as shown in below screenshot.
The highlighted portion of Text Filters in the box has Equals, Does Not Equal, Begins With, Ends With, Contains, Does Not Contain, and Custom Filter.
- Equal: With this, we can filter the data with an exact equal word, available in data.
- Does Not Equal: With this, we can filter the data with a word which is not exactly matching with available words in data.
- Begins With: This filters the data which begins with specific word or letter or character.
- Ends With – This filters the data which ends with specific word or letter or character.
- Contains: With this, we can filter the data which contains any specific word or letter or character.
- Does Not Contain: With this, we can filter the data which does not contain any specific word, letter or character.
- Custom Filter: With this, we can apply any combination of the above-mentioned Text Filters in data together, to get data filtered more deeply and specific to our requirement. Once we click on Custom Filter, we will get a box of Custom AutoFilter as shown in below screenshot.
As we can see in the above screenshot of Custom AutoFilter, it has to two filter options at left sides, which are separated by And and Or check-in circles. And the other two boxes provided at the left side, are for filling the criteria values. This can be called as smart filter.
There are different ways of applying Excel column filter.
- Data menu -> Filter
- By pressing Ctrl + Shift + L together.
- By pressing Alt + D + F + F simultaneously.
Pros of Excel Column Filter
- By applying filters we can sort the data as per our need.
- By filters, performing the analysis or any work becomes easy.
- Filters sort the data with word, numbers, cell colors, font colors or with any range. Also, multiple criteria can be used as well.
Cons of Excel Column Filter
- Filters can be applied to all kind of range size, but it is not useful if the data size increases up to a certain limit. For some cases, if the data is going beyond 50,000 lines, then it becomes slow and sometimes it does not show data available in any column.
Things to Remember
- If you are using filter and freeze panel together, then first apply the filter and then use freeze panel. By doing this, data will be frozen from the middle portion of the sheet.
- Avoid or be cautious while using a filter for huge sets of data (maybe for 50000 or more). It will take a lot more time to get applied and sometimes the file also gets crashed.
This has been a guide to Filter Column in Excel. Here we discuss how to Filter a column in Excel along with practical examples and downloadable excel template. You can also go through our other suggested articles –