Excel Tutorial: How To Make Folders From An Excel Spreadsheet


In this Excel tutorial, you will learn how to make folders from an Excel spreadsheet. Organizing data is crucial for efficiency and productivity, and creating folders from a spreadsheet can help streamline your workflow and keep your files structured and easily accessible.

Key Takeaways

  • Organizing data in folders from an Excel spreadsheet can streamline workflow and increase productivity.
  • Identifying and determining the folder structure needed is crucial for efficient organization.
  • Using Excel functions such as sorting, grouping, and creating columns can aid in formatting the data for folders.
  • Automating folder creation and checking for errors can save time and ensure accuracy.
  • Moving files into respective folders and creating a backup of organized data is essential for maintaining the organization.

Understanding the data

Before you start organizing your data into folders, you need to understand the data and determine the folder structure needed. This will help you to create a more efficient system for storing and retrieving your files.

A. Identify the data to be organized

Take a closer look at the data in your Excel spreadsheet and determine which columns or categories you want to use for organizing your folders. This could be anything from project names, client names, dates, or any other relevant information.

B. Determine the folder structure needed

Once you have identified the data to be organized, consider how you want to structure the folders. Will it be a simple one-level folder structure, or will you need subfolders to further organize the data? Understanding the folder structure needed will help you plan and create the necessary folders in Excel.

Using Excel functions

When it comes to organizing data from an excel spreadsheet into folders, Excel functions can be incredibly helpful. You can utilize functions such as sorting, grouping, and creating columns for folder names to efficiently manage your data.

A. Sorting the data
  • Sort by Name: To begin, you can use the sort function to arrange your data by name. This will help you to easily identify and categorize the information for creating folders.
  • Sort by Date: Additionally, sorting the data by date can be useful if you need to organize files into folders based on specific time periods.

B. Grouping the data
  • Group by Category: Grouping the data by category can streamline the process of creating folders, as it allows you to easily identify and separate different types of information.
  • Expand/Collapse Groups: Excel also allows you to expand and collapse groups, making it easier to manage the visibility of data within each category.

C. Creating columns for folder names
  • Use Concatenate Function: By using the concatenate function in Excel, you can create a new column for folder names that combines relevant data, such as name and date, to generate unique identifiers for each folder.
  • Customize Folder Names: You can also customize the folder names by adding specific prefixes or suffixes to further organize the data.

Formatting the data for folders

When creating folders from an excel spreadsheet, it is important to format the data properly to ensure that the folders are organized and easy to navigate.

Naming the folders

  • Choose a clear and descriptive name for the folders based on the data in the spreadsheet.
  • Avoid using special characters or symbols in folder names to prevent any issues with compatibility or usability.

Ensuring consistency in folder names

  • Review the spreadsheet to ensure that all folder names are consistent and follow a standardized format.
  • Consider using a naming convention or structure to maintain uniformity across all folders.

Applying conditional formatting for easier visualization

  • Utilize conditional formatting in the excel spreadsheet to visually highlight specific data points that will be used as folder names.
  • Choose color-coding or icon sets to make it easier to identify and distinguish different folders at a glance.

Generating the folders

When working with a large dataset in Excel, it can be time-consuming to manually create folders for each entry. However, with the help of a script, you can automate this process and save yourself valuable time and effort.

A. Using a script to automate folder creation
  • Visual Basic for Applications (VBA): Excel has a built-in programming language called VBA, which allows you to create custom macros and scripts. By writing a VBA script, you can generate folders based on the data in your spreadsheet.
  • File Explorer integration: With the use of VBA, you can integrate your script with the File Explorer in Windows, allowing you to automatically create folders with the click of a button.
  • Conditional folder creation: You can also create a script that includes conditional logic, such as creating folders only for entries that meet certain criteria or fulfilling specific conditions.

B. Checking for errors in folder creation
  • Error handling: When automating the folder creation process, it's important to include error handling in your script. This will allow you to identify and address any issues that may arise, such as invalid characters in file names or existing folder conflicts.
  • Testing and validation: Before running the script on your entire dataset, it's advisable to test it on a smaller sample to ensure that the folders are being generated correctly and without errors.
  • Logging and reporting: To keep track of the folder creation process, you can incorporate logging and reporting features into your script. This will provide you with a record of which folders were successfully created and any errors encountered along the way.

Organizing the folders

When working with a large amount of data in an excel spreadsheet, it can be helpful to organize the files into respective folders for easier access and management. Here are some steps to help you with this process.

Moving the files into the respective folders

  • Step 1: Identify the categories

  • First, go through your excel spreadsheet and identify the categories or criteria based on which you want to organize the data into folders.

  • Step 2: Create the folders

  • Create a new folder for each category on your computer or on a cloud storage platform. Name the folders in a way that clearly indicates the content they will hold.

  • Step 3: Sort and move the files

  • In your excel spreadsheet, sort the data based on the identified categories. Then, select and move each group of files into their respective folders.

Creating a backup of the organized data

  • Step 1: Copy the folders

  • Once you have organized the data into folders, it’s important to create a backup to prevent loss of information. Copy the folders containing the organized files and paste them into a separate location.

  • Step 2: Regularly update the backup

  • Make it a habit to regularly update the backup of your organized data. This will ensure that you always have a recent copy of the information in case of any unforeseen circumstances.


Organizing data is essential for efficient data management. By creating folders from an Excel spreadsheet, you can easily categorize and access your data, saving time and effort. We encourage you to practice this tutorial and apply it to your data management tasks. By organizing your data, you can improve productivity and make more informed decisions based on well-structured information.

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