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You can use Pivot Tables to summarize huge data collections, but many times you will want to limit the data displayed in a given category. For example, if your company's operations are divided into four regions, you might want to display results for just one of the regions. You can limit the data displayed in a Pivot Table by creating a filter. There are two main ways you can filter the contents of a Pivot Table field: by selection, or by rule. Filtering by selection means that you display a list of values in the field and select the values you want to display. So, for example, let's say that I wanted to display only those results for the East and North regions.
To display those, I click any cell in the Region column. On thePivotTable toolbar, click the Field Settings button. And then in the Pivot Table Field dialog box, I select the items that I want to hide. In this case, I want to hide South and West. And I selected South and West by clicking South and then Command+Clicking West. Those are the items that I want to hide. Now I can click OK. And Excel reconfigures the workbook showing results only for East and for North. I can remove the filter by clicking Undo.
Filtering by selection in Excel 2008 is a little bit quirky and I'd like to show you some things that can happen. For example, here I am in Region. Go up to the PivotTable toolbar and click the Field Settings button. If I hide East and North, and click OK, they disappear. If I bring back the dialog box, and I Command+Click East first - that's important - and then North, it looks like all of the items should come back into the worksheet. When I click OK, only East comes back.
In other words, the last field that you click will remain hidden. So again, to undo the filter you go up to the toolbar and click the Undo button until all of your fields come back. You can also filter data within a Pivot Table by a rule. In Excel 2008, you can create what are called Top 10 filters to identify the top or bottom values in a field. To use a more meaningful filter as an example, I am going to add Month to my Pivot Table. So you'll get an idea of how effective a Top 10 filter can be. To create a Top 10 filter, click any cell in the field by which you want to filter.
And note that you're clicking the label, January, February, March as opposed to the values. This is the field you're actually filtering by. And then on the PivotTable toolbar, click the Field Settings button. And then click Advanced. In the Advanced button, in the AutoShow options area, you can select an Automatic Filter. You can then determine whether you want to show the Top or Bottom values. I'll show the Top. And rather than the Top 10, I will edit that number to just show the Top 5. The idea is that I want to show the top 5 months based on the value in the Sum of Revenue field, which is here.
I have all those parameters in place. And I'll click OK. And OK again to close the PivotTable Field dialog box. And Excel displays the top values for each region, for each year. So, for example, for the East region in 2008, May, July, August, and September, and December were the highest months. For North in 2008, January, June, July, August and November, and so on down the line. Filtering by selection gives you pinpoint control over the values that appear in your Pivot Table. You should use this type of filter when you want to display or exclude a few values from the display.
Filtering by rule, by contrast, enables you to identify the top or bottom values in the field.
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