Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 12: Managing Lists and Data
CHAPTER 12
Managing Lists and Data
Sorting Out Your Data Management Options . . . . . . . . 387
Formatting and Using Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391
Sorting, Filtering, and Outlining Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 397
Using PivotTables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 406
Importing, Exporting, and Connecting to
Data Sources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 415
Excel is no one-trick pony. Yes, the program works wonders with number-crunching
tasks, but its rows and columns are also tailor-made for managing data that isn’t
expressed in numeric formats. With minimal effort, you can keep address lists and
membership rosters, track temperatures and rainfall, monitor stock prices, and record your
performance in whatever sport or hobby you happen to fancy.
In this chapter, we look at the many options you have for entering and storing data—
including tables in Excel worksheets and direct connections to external data sources. We
also explain how to sort, filter, cross-tabulate, and summarize that data.
Sorting Out Your Data Management Options
You can create a simple database just by entering data into rows, with or without headings
to indicate what’s in each column. For example, you can enter a list of names in column
A, and then, in column B, enter a phone number alongside each name. As long as that list
remains short and simple enough to scan quickly, you don’t need to do anything more.
But lists have a way of growing, and even moderately long lists can benefit from sorting,
searching, filtering, outlining, and summarizing. Excel provides several options for working
with lists and databases of all sizes. Which option you choose depends on where the data is
stored and what you want to do with it.
The following sections briefly describe each of your options. You can find more details
about each in the remainder of this chapter.
Tables
Microsoft introduced the concept of tables (not to be confused with data tables, which are
a rarely used relic of Excel’s distant past) in Excel 2007. If you skipped over that version, you
have some catching up to do. Tables are roughly equivalent to the feature known as lists
in Excel 2003, but with more sophisticated formatting options. If you open a worksheet
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