How to Use Filters in Excel to Find the Data You Need

In this lesson, you can learn how to use filters in Excel.

Excel has a feature of filters that make it easy to find the data you need in your spreadsheets. Filters allow you to view and optionally print only selected data from the table, and perform mathematical operations, taking only the visible data.

We will show you how to use filters in Excel. We will start by explaining the different types of filters available in Excel, and then we will show you how to use them to filter data in a table.

Types of Filters in Excel

There are two main types of filters in Excel: automatic filters and advanced filters.

  • Automatic filters are the most commonly used. They let you filter data based on the values in a column. For instance, you could use an automatic filter to show only the products in the “Category1” category.
  • Advanced filters enable you to filter data based on more complex criteria or conditions. For example, you could use an advanced filter to display only the products that are both in the “Category1” category and priced under $100.

How to Use Filters in Excel

To use filters in Excel, you first need to select the range of cells that you want to filter. Then, you can use the following steps:

  1. Click on the Data tab.
  2. In the Sort & Filter group, click on the Filter button.
  3. A drop-down menu will appear. Select the type of filter that you want to use.
  4. The filtered data will be displayed in the table.
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Example – easy filtering by category in Excel

For example, let’s apply filters to a table of products to narrow down the selection by category.

Filters Table Example

Select the table header row.

Filters Table Header Row

Go to the Ribbon. In the Home tab, click the Sort & Filter icon and select Filter from the list.

Filters Ribbon

In the table appeared some buttons to filter the data.

Filters Buttons

Click on the Categories. In the list, uncheck the category which you want to be hidden (filtered), such as Category2.

Filters Categories Filtering

After applying a filter, you can’t see products from Category2.

Filters Category Hidden

On the picture above, you can also see that some rows are hidden. You don’t see 3 and 10 row. In the B1 cell, you can also see a symbol of filter close to the arrow. That means that this column is filtered.

If you want to filter more, you can. Let’s hide products from Producer3 and Producer5.

Filters Producers

You can also filter prices. There’s number filters. Click filter arrow in D1 cell.

Number Filters

I want to find the cheapest. I select Less Than Or Equal To.

Filters The Cheapest

My budget is $150.

Custom AutoFilter

That’s how I filtered out products which I don’t want in my table.

Filters Ready

Now it is much easier to choose one.

You can also use advanced filters to apply more complex criteria. To do this, go to the Data tab, click on the Advanced option in the Sort & Filter group, and set your desired conditions.