Pivot Table Filter in Excel (Table of Contents)
Introduction to Pivot Table Filter
Pivot Table filter is something which by default we get when we create a pivot table. First, create a table using a Pivot Table, we can see the first field which is either a Row or Column will have one filter. Click on the drop-down arrow or press the ALT + Down navigation key to go in the filter list. In that drop-down list we have traditional filter options. In other way, we can filter the data by clicking right on those fields.
Let’s look at the multiple ways of using the filter in PIVOT.
How to Filter a Pivot Table in Excel?
Let us see some of the examples and their explanation to Filter Pivot Table in Excel.
Example #1 – Creating Inbuilt Filter in PIVOT Table
Step 1: Let’s have the data in one of the worksheets.
The above data consists of 4 different columns with Sl.No, Flat No’s, Carpet Area & SBA.
Step 2: Go to the Insert tab and select Pivot table as shown below.
When you click the pivot table, “Create Pivot Table” window pops out.
We have an option of selecting a table or a range to create a pivot table or we also can use an external data source as well. We also have the option of placing the Pivot table report whether in the same worksheet or new worksheet and we can see as shown in the above image.
Step 3: Pivot table Field will be available on the right end of the sheet as below. We can observe the Filter field, where we can drag the fields into filters to create a filter in the Pivot table.
Let’s drag the Flat no’s field into Filters and we can see the filter for Flat no’s would have been created.
From this we can filter the Flat no’s as per our requirement and this is the normal way of creating a filter in the Pivot table.
Example #2 – Creating a Filter to the Value Areas
Generally, when we take data into value areas there won’t be any filter created to those fields. We can see it as below.
We can clearly observe that there is no filter option for value areas i.e. Sum of SBA & Sum of Carpet Area. But we can actually create it and which helps us in various decision-making purposes. Firstly, we have to select any cell next to the table and click on the filter in the data tab. We can see the filter gets in the value areas.
As we got the filters, we can now perform different types of operations from value areas as well like sorting them to largest to smallest in order to know top sales/area/anything. Similarly, we can sort from smallest to largest, sorting by color and even we can perform number filters like <=,<,>=,> and many more. This plays a major role in decision making in any organization.
Example #3 – Displaying List of Multiple Items in a Pivot Table Filter
In the above example, we had learned of creating a filter in Pivot. Now let’s look at the way we display the list in different ways. 3 most important ways of displaying a list of multiple items in a pivot table filter are:-
- Using Slicers
- Creating a list of cells with filter criteria
- List of Comma Separated Values
1. Using Slicers:
Let’s have a simple pivot table with different columns like Region, Month, Unit no, Function, Industry, Age Category.
From this example, we are going to consider Function in our filter and let’s check how it can be listed using slicers and varies as per our selection.
It is simple as we just select any cell inside the pivot table and we’ll go to analyze tab on the ribbon and choose insert slicer and then we’re going to insert the slicer in our filter area so in this case the “Function” filed in our filter area and then hit Ok and that’s going to add slicer to the sheet.
We can see items are highlighted in the slicer are those which are highlighted in our filter criteria in the filter drop-down menu. Now, this is a pretty simple solution that does display the filter criteria. By this, we can easily filter out multiple items and can see the result varying in value areas. From the below example it is clear that we had selected the functions that are visible in the slicer and can find out the count of age category for different industries (which are row labels that we had dragged into the row label field) which are associated with those function that are in the slicer. We can change the function as per our requirement and can observe the results vary as per the items selected.
However, if you have a lot of items in your list here and it’s really long then those items might not be displayed properly and you might have to do a lot of scrolling to see which items are selected so that it leads us to the nest solution of listing out the filter criteria in cells.
So, “Create List of cells with Filter Criteria” comes to our rescue.
2. Create List of Cells with Filter Criteria:
We’re going to use a connected pivot table and we’re basically going to use the above slicer here to connect two pivot tables together. Now let us create a duplicate copy of the existing pivot table and paste it in a blank cell of a new sheet.
So now we have a duplicate copy of our pivot table and we are going to modify a little bit to show that Functions field in the rows area. To do this we have to select any cell inside of our pivot table here and go over to pivot table field list and going to remove Industry from the rows, removing Count of Age Category from the values area and we are going to take the Function that is in our filters area rows area and so now we can see that we have a list of our filter criteria if we look over here in our filter drop-down menu we have the list of item that is there in slicers and function filter as well.
Now we have a list of our filter criteria and this works because both of these pivots are connected by the slicer. If we right-click anywhere on the slicer & to report connections – pivot table connections it will open up a menu which shows us that both of these pivot tables are connected as checkboxes are checked.
Which means whenever one change is made in 1st pivot it would automatically get reflected in the other. Tables can be moved anywhere, it can be used in any financial models, and row label can also be changed.
3. List of Comma Separated Values:
So the third way to display our filter criteria is in a single cell with a list of comma-separated values and we can do that with the TEXTJOIN function. We still need the tables that we used earlier and just use the formula to create this string of values and separate them with commas.
This is a new formula or new function that was introduced in Excel 2016 & it’s called TEXTJOIN (If you do not have Excel 2016 you can use concatenate function as well) text joining makes this process much easier.
TEXTJOIN basically gives us three different arguments.
Delimiter – which can be a comma or space.
Ignore Empty – true or false to ignore empty cells or not.
Text – add or specify a range of cells they contain the values we want to concatenate.
Let us type text join- (delimiter- which would be “,” in this case, TRUE (as we should ignore empty cells), A: A (as the list of selected items from the filter will be available in this column) to join any value & also ignore any empty value in Pivot Table Filter)
Now we see getting a list of all of our filter criteria joined by a string. So it’s basically a comma-separated list of values and if we didn’t want to show these filter criteria in the formula we can just hide the cell.
Just select the cell and go up to analyze options tab, click on field headers & that will hide the cell.
So now we have the list of values in their filter criteria. Now if we make changes in the pivot filter it reflects in all the methods. We can use any one of there. But eventually for a comma-separated solution slicer & the list is required. If you don’t want to display the tables they can be hidden
Things to Remember
- Filtering is not an additive because when we select one criterion and if we want to filter again with another criterion then the first one will get discarded.
- We got a special feature in filter i.e. “Search Box” which allows us to deselect manually some of the results that we don’t want. For Ex: If we have got the huge list and there are blanks too then in order to select blank we can easily get selected by searching for blank in search box rather than scrolling down till the end.
- We are not supposed to exclude certain results with the condition in the filter but we can do by using “label filter”. For Ex: If we want to select any product with a certain currency like rupee or dollar etc then we can use label filter – ‘does not contain’ and should give the condition.
This is a guide to Pivot Table Filter in Excel. Here we discuss How to Create a Pivot Table Filter in Excel along with examples and excel template. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –