Extreme Filters & Sorting

filters1Most people know how to use the basic Excel filter. However, do you know how to “extreme filter and sort”? Let’s take your knowledge one step further and show you some neat functions of filters you probably did not know about.

1) Sort by Color: Let’s say your boss goes through a list and highlights all the people he wants to meet with in the next week. What is the best way to sort through a list of over 500 employees? Easy, just filter it by color! First create the column filters.filters2

Next, click on the column filter arrow, find the Filter by Color option, and select the color you wish to filter. If your boss selected multiple colors, you can also select the Sort by Color option on that same drop down menu.

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2) Custom Sort: Most of your friends probably only know how to use the simple Sort function. However, that tool is very limited. The Custom Sort tool is much more powerful. You will find it on the Home ribbon – Editing – Sort & Filter – Custom Sort

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To get started, highlight the table you would like to sort. Make sure you include the headings. Next, select Custom Sort on the Home ribbon. A box like this will appear.

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The Sort By drop down will allow you to select which heading or column you want to sort. You can then select what you want to Sort On (usually just Values) and the Order you want it. For this example, We want to sort by ID Number from Smallest to Largest.

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You can even add multiple sorting criteria. You do this by clicking on the Add Level button. Now I can first have it sort by ID Number from Smallest to Largest and within that, sort by Last Name from A to Z. That is pretty neat, huh?!

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Now you can sort and filter like no one at work can! This is sure to save you time, organize your data more efficiently, and, most importantly, impress your co-workers. Stay tuned for our next Excel tip!