Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
The AutoFilter: Picking and Choosing Your Data
Figure 6–14. Double vision: sorting by the same field twice?
Ok, ok—the question is obvious: Why would you possibly want to copy the same field? And how do
you sort it twice ? The answer takes us back to a previous illustration. If you Conditionally Format a range
of values—e.g., cells above 100 red, below 50 green—copying the same field to the Sort dialog box lets
you tell Excel which color in that field gets sorted first, second, etc. Note that some values in the field
might be neither above 100 nor below 50, and thus may have no color. They could be sorted in between
two color priorities, and so you may indeed need to establish a sort order within the same field (there is a
No Color sort option).
The up/down arrows allow you to adjust the order by which fields are sorted. Thus, if you decide
you want the First Name field sorted first, click on First Name and then the up arrow.
Options… delivers a fairly exotic set of choices. First, if you have duplicate names in a field to be
sorted, some of which are lowercase and others capitalized (jones, Jones), sorts the lowercase names
first. Sort left to right allows you to sort by column instead of row. Thus I can sort the columns in the
student database, such that they appear in A-Z sequence: First Name, Last Name, Major.
The AutoFilter: Picking and Choosing Your Data
Sorting data is one of those database have-to-knows, equipped with its variety of options for
reorganizing your information. But sometimes you need to look at only part of the data, based on some
criterion that you’ve established. If you track the sales activity of a team of salespersons, for example,
you may want to see all of Jack and Jill’s transactions, and only their transactions. Or you may want to
generate a list of all the major league players who hit more than 20 home runs last year, or only those
students with test scores under 65. Excel’s AutoFilter does just this kind thing, and it’s even easier than
sorting. It lets you identify which data you want to see with a couple of clicks, and in a couple of seconds.
Let’s try out AutoFilter on our student gradebook. Just click anywhere among the data, click the
Data tab, and click Filter (Figure 6–15):
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