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Excel 2003 Essential Training with Mark Swift is a movie-based workshop for users who are new to working with spreadsheets, or those wanting to improve their skills. This workshop begins with a basic overview of the application and quickly advances to cover useful formulas, functions, techniques for enhancing spreadsheets, charts, and much more. Exercise files accompany the training, allowing you to follow along and learn at your own pace.
Now that we've sorted our list and Microsoft Excel has defined it as a list, we have a lot of other options that we can apply to organize or visualize the information that we have within this table. For example, we could apply a filter which is just another way of sorting, but it also eliminates everything that we don't want to see. It's easier to look at than talk about, so let's go up to the Data menu. You may need to expand this menu to see everything. I have Filter and in the submenu AutoFilter is what I'm looking at. AutoFilter is a very quick and easy powerful feature of our lists. You'll notice that all of the titles across the header row of our spreadsheet now have little drop down boxes beside each one. Let's go to the Year, drop that down. Every single element within that column is listed here as an item that we can use to filter our list by. You'll also notice that when I scroll back up to the top we have two more options that were hidden. Sorting options. Well sorting our list by Year is something that we could do with the Sort feature. So I just did it.
It's something that's going to be very familiar. I could have done that with the Sort command. What you can do with the Filter command is you can filter it for say the year 1987, and when I do that, Excel only shows me the records in my list that have the year 1987. Well that's useful. Now I've got those movies within that year and if my list was extensive, this sublist or this smaller version of the list could be quite big. For example in Category 1, I could look at everything that is just Comedy and now I filtered that list further. I've got two elements that are filtering out this giant list of movies that we started with and it's narrowing me down just to the specific title, that I was looking for. Let's reset those. Look at all. Let's look at a custom filter. If you drop-down Year, and you go to Custom, you'll see that we have more options.
Now we can do a more intelligent filter instead of just equals to, which is the default, we can look for is greater than. And again we'll choose the year 1987. Now it removes those titles from our list that are older than 1987. As you can see movies that are in the year 1987 are not included in this list, because the actual logical statement says greater than, not greater than or equal to. I hope you can see the usefulness of this. If you have a list of employees, a list of financial items, a list of telephone numbers you could sort it by area code. You can do all kinds of things using list functionality and we can further narrow down this list again by using our category headings. Let's look at Adventure films that are newer than 1987, and there we go. The only things primarily categorized as Adventure is Back to the Future films. Using the AutoFilter functionality can be a powerful way to sort through your data and you can print this list exactly the way it appears here. One note that I should mention for those of you who are planning to create sizable lists is, let me drop that down again and show all, and all, there we go, there's our whole list. You can see a number of years that have been listed here based on the entries made. That list is going to be limited to 1000 items. It won't sort any more than 1000 items uniquely in that list. In other words, you can have lists longer than 1000 items, but you won't be able to use the AutoFilter function.
If you need to filter beyond 1000 items, you'll need to go back to the Data menu, Filter, and use the Advanced Filter where you can more accurately specify the type of ranges that you want to use to query your data. When it's time to stop using AutoFilter and turn your list back into a simple list, you can go back to the Data menu, Filter and disable AutoFilter. I hope you've seen how AutoFilter can be a powerful tool for manipulating your data within a list.
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