Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 9: Working with
Tables and Lists
In This Chapter
• Using Excel's table feature
• Basic information about using tables and lists
• Filtering data using simple criteria
• Using advanced filtering to filter data by specifying more complex criteria
• Understanding how to create a criteria range for use with advanced filtering or database
• Using the SUBTOTAL function to summarize data in a table
A list is a rectangular range of data that usually has a row of text headings to describe the contents of each
column. Excel 2007 introduced a new twist by letting you designate such a range as an “official” table, which
makes common tasks much easier. More importantly, this table feature may help eliminate some errors.
This chapter discusses Excel tables and also covers what I refer to as lists, which are essentially tables of data
that have not been converted to an official table.
Tables and Terminology
It seems that Microsoft can't quite make up its mind when it comes to naming some of Excel's features. Excel
2003 introduced a feature called lists, which is a way of working with what is sometimes called a worksheet data-
base. In Excel 2007, the list features evolved into a much more useful feature called tables, and that feature was
enhanced a bit in Excel 2010. To confuse the issue even more, Excel also has a feature called data tables, which
has nothing at all to do with the table feature. And don't forget about pivot tables, which are not actual tables, but
can be created from a table.
In this chapter, I use these two terms:
• List: An organized collection of information contained in a rectangular range of cells. More specifically, a list
comprises a row of headers (descriptive text), followed by additional rows of data holding values or text.
• Table: A list that has been converted to a special type of range by using the Insert ⇒ Tables ⇒ Table command.
Converting a list into an official table offers several advantages (and a few disadvantages), as I explain in this