How to Excel - Use Filters to Get the Data You Want

Excel gives you many options when it comes to filtering your data. If you have a database with numerous entries, you can filter the data so that only the relevant information appears. Then, when you remove the filter, you can see all of your data once more. Built-in comparison operators such as “greater than”, “less than”, “between”, “top 10” or even custom filters can show the data you want and hide the rest.

How to Filter

First, select the data you want to filter. It’s helpful if your columns have headers.

  • DATA > Sort and Filter > Filter
  • Your columns should now have arrows next to each of the headers
  • Click the arrow in the column header, then choose Text Filters or Number Filters

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  • Choose one of the comparison operators
  • In the Custom AutoFilter box, type or select the criteria you wish to use to filter the data
  • Click OK to apply the filter.

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You’ll notice that for this example we used the Between comparison filter. Your data should now look like this:

Advanced Filtering

If you want to filter data to more specific parameters for example based on specific criteria, or to remove any duplicate values you can use the Advanced Filter dialogue box.

Here we have a list of constituents and the regions they live in. We want to filter our list to only see the regions where we have constituents: 

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For more information on filtering, and to try practice exercises, check out our Excel courseIf you already have access, visit Section 4 “Data Handling”, Unit 2 “Sorting and Filtering”.