Excel Tutorial: How To Put Filters On Excel


If you want to make the most out of your data in Excel, using filters is crucial. Filters allow you to analyze and manipulate data more efficiently, saving you time and effort. In this blog post, we will cover the basics of putting filters on Excel, so you can take your spreadsheet skills to the next level.

Key Takeaways

  • Filters are crucial for analyzing and manipulating data efficiently in Excel
  • Understanding the different types of filters available in Excel is essential for effective data analysis
  • Applying filters to a dataset can be done using a step-by-step guide and custom filter options
  • Working with filtered data involves making changes, saving and sharing the filtered view
  • Utilizing advanced filter features and best practices can enhance data analysis and summary

Understanding Filters in Excel

In Excel, filters are used to display only the data that meets certain criteria. This makes it easier to analyze and work with large amounts of data.

A. Definition of filters in Excel

Filters in Excel are tools that allow you to show only the data that meets specific criteria, while hiding the rest. This can be applied to individual columns or the entire dataset.

B. Explanation of how filters work in Excel

When filters are applied in Excel, a drop-down arrow appears next to the column header. Clicking on this arrow allows you to select the criteria you want to filter by, and the data will be automatically updated to display only the relevant information.

C. Types of filters available in Excel

Excel offers a variety of filter options, including:

  • Text filters: These allow you to filter by specific text or by text that contains certain characters.
  • Number filters: These enable you to filter numerical data based on criteria such as greater than, less than, or equal to specific values.
  • Date filters: These are used to filter data based on specific dates or date ranges.

How to Apply Filters in Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing data, and one of the features that makes it so useful is the ability to apply filters to a dataset. Filters allow you to quickly and easily narrow down your data to focus on the information that is most relevant to your analysis. In this tutorial, we will walk through the step-by-step process of applying filters in Excel, provide tips for selecting the best filter option for specific data types, and explore the use of custom filters.

Step-by-step guide on how to apply filters to a dataset

  • Select the dataset: Before applying a filter, make sure to select the entire dataset that you want to filter. This can be done by clicking and dragging to highlight the data.
  • Go to the "Data" tab: Once your data is selected, navigate to the "Data" tab in the Excel ribbon at the top of the screen.
  • Click on the "Filter" button: In the "Sort & Filter" group, you will see a button labeled "Filter." Click on this button to apply the filter to your selected data.
  • Use the filter dropdowns: Once the filter is applied, you will see small dropdown arrows appear next to the column headers in your dataset. Clicking on these arrows will allow you to select specific criteria to filter the data by.
  • Apply the filter criteria: After clicking on the filter dropdown, you can select specific criteria to filter by, such as specific text values, date ranges, or numerical values.
  • Clear the filters: To remove the filter and display all of the data again, simply click on the filter dropdown and select "Clear Filter."

Tips for selecting the best filter option for specific data types

  • Text data: For text data, the "Text Filters" option in the filter dropdown allows you to filter by specific text values, such as "contains," "begins with," or "ends with."
  • Numerical data: For numerical data, the "Number Filters" option allows you to filter by specific numerical criteria, such as greater than, less than, or between certain values.
  • Date data: When working with date data, the "Date Filters" option provides a range of criteria for filtering by specific dates or date ranges.
  • Custom filters: In some cases, you may need to create a custom filter using advanced filter options to meet specific criteria not covered by the standard filter options.

Using custom filters in Excel

In addition to the standard filter options provided in Excel, you can also create custom filters to meet more specific criteria. This can be done by using the "Filter" dropdown and selecting "Filter by Color" or "Filter by Cell Color" to filter by cell or font color, or by using the "Custom Filter" option to create a complex filter using specific conditions and logic.

Working with Filtered Data

Filtering data in Excel can help you organize and analyze large datasets more effectively. Once you have applied filters to your data, you may need to navigate the filtered dataset, make changes, and share the filtered view with others. Below, we will discuss how to work with filtered data in Excel.

A. Navigating and working with a filtered dataset
  • 1. Applying filters

    To apply filters to your dataset, select the data range, and click on the "Filter" button in the "Data" tab. This will add filter arrows to each column header.

  • 2. Navigating through filtered data

    Once filters are applied, you can navigate through the filtered data by using the filter arrows to sort, select, and view specific data based on your criteria.

B. Making changes to the filtered data
  • 1. Editing filtered data

    When filters are applied, you can edit the data directly within the filtered view. Any changes made will only affect the visible data after the filters have been applied.

  • 2. Adding or removing data

    If you need to add or remove data while filters are applied, make sure to clear the filters first to avoid any unintended changes to the dataset.

C. Saving and sharing the filtered view
  • 1. Saving the filtered view

    If you want to save the filtered view for future reference, you can do so by saving the workbook with the filters applied. This will retain the filtered state when the workbook is reopened.

  • 2. Sharing the filtered view

    To share the filtered view with others, you can either send the filtered workbook or create a copy of the filtered data and share it separately. Make sure to communicate the filter criteria used for the shared view.

Advanced Filter Features

Excel provides advanced filter options that allow users to refine and customize their data filtering process.

A. Utilizing filter options such as "top 10" and "above average"
  • Top 10:

    This feature allows users to filter out the top or bottom 10 items from a dataset based on a selected column. This is useful for identifying the highest or lowest values within a specific category.
  • Above average:

    With this option, users can filter data that is above the average value of a selected column. This can help in identifying outliers or high-performing items within the dataset.

B. Creating filter criteria based on specific conditions
  • Custom Criteria:

    Excel allows users to create custom filter criteria based on specific conditions. This can include filtering data based on date ranges, numerical values, or text-based criteria.
  • Advanced Logical Operators:

    Users can utilize advanced logical operators such as "AND" and "OR" to create complex filter criteria that meet multiple conditions simultaneously.

C. Using wildcards and advanced filter techniques
  • Wildcards:

    Excel supports the use of wildcards such as "*" and "?" in filter criteria, allowing users to perform partial matching or pattern-based filtering.
  • Advanced Filter Techniques:

    Advanced filter techniques include filtering unique records, extracting filtered data to a new location, and applying multiple filter criteria simultaneously.

Best Practices for Using Filters in Excel

When working with large datasets in Excel, using filters can help you analyze and summarize data effectively. However, it's important to keep your filter views organized, avoid common mistakes, and use filters strategically to get the most out of your data.

A. Keeping filter views organized
  • Create clear and descriptive filter names

    When creating filter views, use clear and descriptive names to easily identify the purpose of each filter. This will help you and others understand the specific criteria being applied.

  • Group related filters together

    Organize your filter views by grouping related filters together. For example, group filters related to sales data in one section and filters related to customer demographics in another section. This will make it easier to navigate and manage your filter views.

B. Avoiding common mistakes when applying filters
  • Avoid filtering data in the wrong order

    When applying multiple filters, make sure to filter data in the correct order to avoid unintended results. For example, filter by product category before filtering by sales region to get accurate insights.

  • Be mindful of hidden rows or columns

    Hidden rows or columns can affect your filter results. Always unhide any hidden rows or columns before applying filters to ensure that all relevant data is included in the analysis.

C. Using filters to analyze and summarize data effectively
  • Utilize custom filters for specific criteria

    Take advantage of custom filters to apply specific criteria that are not covered by the standard filter options. Custom filters can help you narrow down your data to extract the insights you need.

  • Use filters to identify and analyze trends

    Apply filters to identify trends in your data, such as sales performance over time or changes in customer behavior. Filtering data can help you focus on specific trends and make informed decisions based on the analysis.


Using filters in Excel can significantly improve your data analysis and organization. With filters, you can easily isolate specific information, spot trends, and make better-informed decisions. I encourage you to put the tutorial into practice and start using filters in your Excel work immediately. Mastering filter techniques in Excel is an essential skill that can make you more efficient and effective in your work. So, keep practicing and exploring the different ways filters can enhance your Excel experience.

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