Category Archives: Training

Tech Primer: Using Microsoft Excel Filters

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.

Excel 2007 - Filters

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.

Excel 2007 - Filters


Using YouTube for Training

Since its inception about 5 years ago, YouTube has become one of the more popular sites on the web.    YouTube has gained notoriety for being of the best sites to see old clips of movies or TV shows, clips of your favorite musician on tour, old music videos, general nonsense posted by average users.

One of the great uses of YouTube that I have recently discovered is for learning how to do something.

There are vast amounts of videos that people have posted on how to do common household repairs, how to change a flat tire, how to draw a picture using charcoal, how to play a harmonica, and numerous other ‘how-to’ items.

A great use of YouTube is using it to teach you technical tasks, like how to use spreadsheets.   A good example of this is the video below, which describes how to use Pivot Tables in Excel 2007.

The best way to find what you need is to go to and just do a simple search.   Have fun playing around with it!


[Video Source: Missing Manuals YouTube Channel]