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How To Use The Advanced Filter in Excel?

How To Use The Advanced Filter in Excel?
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How To Use The Advanced Filter in Excel?

Any good spreadsheet jockey knows that the advanced filter is one of the most powerful tools in Excel. And yet, for all its power, the advanced filter is often underutilized or even ignored entirely by many users. If you’re not taking advantage of the advanced filter, then you’re missing out on a valuable tool that can save you time and headaches. 

So, if you’re not using the advanced filter, or if you’re using it but not taking full advantage of its capabilities, then this detailed step-by-step guide is for you. We’ll show you how to use the advanced filter and some of the things you can do with it.

What is Advanced Filter in Excel?

An advanced filter is a tool that allows you to extract data from a range of cells based on criteria that you specify. For example, let’s say you have a list of customers and their contact information, and you want to extract only the customers who live in California. With the advanced filter, you can do this quickly and easily.

Features of Advanced Filter

The advanced filter has a few features that are worth mentioning:

  • You can extract data to a new location or you can extract data in-place.
  • You can use Advanced Filter with multiple criteria ranges.
  • You can apply an advanced filter to an entire worksheet or a range of cells.
  • The advanced filter is non-destructive, meaning the data in your original range will not be altered when you apply the filter.

Advanced Filter vs Regular Filter – A Comparison

There are certain characteristics that distinguish the regular excel filter from the advanced filter. Some of the major differences between the two are:

  • The regular filter allows you to filter data in-place, meaning the filtered data will be displayed in the same range of cells as the original data. The advanced filter, on the other hand, gives you the option of extracting the filtered data to a new location. This is one of the main advantages of using the advanced filter.
  • Another advantage of the advanced filter is that you can specify multiple criteria ranges. With the regular filter, you’re limited to one criterion range.
  • Lastly, the advanced filter is non-destructive, meaning the data in your original range will not be altered when you apply the filter whereas this facility is not available in the regular one.

A Detailed Guide to Use Advanced Filter in Excel

Now that we’ve discussed what the advanced filter is and why it’s used, let’s take a look at how to use it.

There are two ways to access the advanced filter:

  • You can go to Data > Filter > Advanced Filter.
  • You can use the shortcut Alt + A + Q.

Once you’ve accessed the advanced filter, the Advanced Filter dialog box will appear.

There are three things you need to do in the dialog box:

  • Specify the range of cells that contain the data you want to filter.
  • Select whether you want to filter the list in-place or extract the filtered data to a new location.
  • Specify the criteria for the filter.

Let’s go through each of these steps in detail.

1. Specifying the Data Range

The first thing you need to do is specify the range of cells that contain the data you want to filter. You can do this in one of two ways:

  • You can enter the range manually.
  • You can click on the range of cells with your mouse.

If you enter the range manually, be sure to include the headers.

2. Selecting In-Place or Extract to Another Location

The next thing you need to do is select whether you want to filter the list in-place or extract the data to another location. In our example, we want to extract the data to another location, so we’ll leave the default option, Copy to another location, selected.

3. Specifying the Criteria

The last thing you need to do is specify the criteria for the filter. The criteria are the conditions that must be met in order for a row of data to be included in the filtered list.

Just, for instance, suppose we want to extract all of the customers who live in California, so our criterion will be based on the customer’s state. We can specify our criterion in one of two ways:

  • We can enter the criterion manually.
  • We can use a cell reference.

4. Applying the Filter

Once you’ve specified the data range, selected whether to filter in-place or extract to another location and specified the criterion, you’re ready to apply the filter.

To do this, simply click on the OK button, and Voila! The filtered data will be displayed in the cells you selected.

The Verdict

As any Excel user knows, the Advanced Filter is a powerful tool that can be used to extract data from a large worksheet. However, many users don’t know how to take full advantage of this feature.

The key is to understand how the Advanced Filter works and how it can be used to your advantage. The Advanced Filter can be used to filter data based on multiple criteria, and it can even be used to extract data from multiple worksheets.

So, with a little practice, you can learn how to use the Advanced Filter to your benefit and make your work in Excel much easier.