Microsoft Excel filters are a wonderful way to access data that are stored in data lists. They effectively allow the user to hide rows of data that do not meet a specific user-defined criteria. I used filters quite often when comparing data sets that have multiple column headings.
As a result of the Microsoft Office redesign that occurred with Office 2007, the application of filters is slightly different between Excel 2000/XP/2003 and Excel 2007. Below are descriptions on how to implement them in both Excel 2003 and Excel 2007.
Implementing Filters in Excel 2000/XP/2003
Step 1: Highlight the column headings and go to Data>Filter>AutoFilter. Ensure that the AutoFilter text is checked. Notice that the column headings now have drop down boxes associated with them.
Step 2: To filter, choose the drop-down bar from the desired column heading. Notice that the drop-down box has several choices that match the row values. To filter, just choose the desired value. Rows that do not match the chosen value are automatically hidden.
A more detailed description of the use of filters in Excel 2003 can be found here.
Implementing Filters in Excel 2007:
Step 1: Highlight the column headings and choose Data on the ribbon. Click the Filter icon and ensure that it is selected. At this point you should see drop-down bars on your column headings.
Step 2: To filter, choose the drop-down bar from the desired column heading. Choose the desired values that you wish to filter by. Rows that do not match the chosen values are automatically hidden.