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After sorting a list of data, perhaps like the current list which is sorted by department, you might want to insert automatic subtotals at appropriate breakpoints in the list. Once you do this too there will be some automatic expansion and collapsing tools called Outlining Symbols, which you can create using other features in Excel. So this particular list here is ready to have some subtotals inserted and rather than that manually-- and it would take a lot time, there are about 23 departments here, but imagine manually putting a new row in front of each one of these-- a prerequisite also is that your data has not been converted into a table.
The next sheet to the right here is a table. I'll click on this and if we were about to use the Subtotals feature it's on the Data tab. Recognize that Subtotal out here is grayed out. You cannot use this on the data we first saw. I am going to back to that first sheet. We are ready to insert Subtotals here and on the Data tab the Subtotal command is available. The active cell is anywhere in data. We don't any have any empty rows or columns within our data. Let's click the Subtotal button and using this feature over the years this is this thing that I often forget.
Every time you come into this command do check that first entry. If you haven't been using it sometimes it's got a different field there. Make sure it's the field that you're interested in that's going to be break point, in this case Department. The function you're going to use most of the time is likely to be Sum. There are some other variations there. In this particular list we can add Years, we could add Salary. Would we really want to add Job Rating? That probably wouldn't make a lot of sense. Most of the other fields are text fields. Now possibly we could've done Account, but counting only one of these made sense. Probably not all of them.
So you might debate that or explore that a little bit. You could only use one of these at the same time on a given row here for-- These are going to appear in the Subtotal rows. Let's click OK and we see what's happened here. At the end of the ADC department let me zoom back a little bit so we can see some more of these. We see Totals there for Years and Salary, and we also see this for Admin Training and of course for every department. Now imagine what would have happened here if we didn't have the data sorted and we said introduce these subtotals every time the department changes.
So that's, if not a formal prerequisite, a pretty obvious prerequisite in terms of an effective use of this. Now just as important perhaps is seeing all this is to recognize those unusual characters that we see down the left-hand side of the screen. You'll see the numbers 1, 2, and 3. 3 is you could say the current one that's set. It shows us all the detail as well as subtotals and grand total. So I am going to click the number 2 and watch this list collapse. Now if you were about to print this, because we see the word Total in column B it might be a good idea to make column B a bit wider.
We will just double-click up there, possibly that idea. Here and there check out your other columns to make sure they're wide enough. So conceivably you might want to print this, you might want to hide these columns in the meantime, but we are seeing the detail. Clicking the one over here is if not worthless pretty close to it. It simply shows the Grand Total only. 2 shows again just the Subtotals and 3 shows the detail as well as the Subtotals. Now if you were making a presentation on this data and talking about the various totals, if for example temporarily if someone said, "Well, give me some more detail on the compliance group here," notice to left there's plus.
So I click the plus; that group expands. So we are seeing the detail for just that group. And you do see of course there is a minus over here. We might want to collapse this. So here and there possibly for display reasons, possibly even for printing, you might want to display the detail for some of these, but not others. So we have this quick ability to expand and collapse the data. And possibly you could leave your data in this form. It all depends upon how frequently do you do sorting, do you do filtering in subtotals, because these totals here are in the way.
If you need to get rid of these, it's simply go back to the Subtotal command and then Remove All, and we are back to our normal view. So using the Subtotal feature is a quick way to insert automatic subtotals at various points in your list.
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