Filtering and sorting - beginner question

Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 03:10 am
I think this is probably an easy question but I'm relatively new to Excel and I'm not sure which option to investigate as the best possible solution. I suspect there are many ways to skin this particular cat.

The reason I am posting is because I'd like an 'elegant' and easy answer. I have been able to sort and filter manually quite easily but there must be a more elegant way; one that I can give my boss and not have to spend an hour explaining how he must use it!

I have a list of questions (column A) and various answers (true or false) by various companies in columns B to infinity. I want to select all companies that have answered YES to selected questions, e.g. Rows 4, 5, 9 and 12.

Should I be using advanced filtering, pivot tables, conditional formatting or something else? I need to be able to make repeated queries; it's not a once-off report.

Question, Company A, Company B, Company C, Cmpany D
Do you floss?, Y, Y, Y, Y
Are you green?, N, Y, Y, N
Do you have email?, Y, N, N, Y

In the above example, only Company A and Company D columns and rows 1 and 3 would be displayed.

Thanks in advance!
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Reply Thu 28 Nov, 2013 05:09 am
Ah, you want a filter.

They are a lot easier these days than they were back in the day.

  1. Go to the ribbon and select the data tab.
  2. Select just the top row and just the columns that will be filtered. E. g. if you have four columns in your spreadsheet and they are columns A - D, select those.
  3. Click the filter button (it looks like a funnel)
  4. Let's say you want to show all the Y answers for column A. Pull down on the little grey arrow in the right corner of cel A1 (this is the header row for that column). Deselect any choices that aren't Y. If there are tons of choices, you can also just type Y into the box that says search all
  5. Click OK
  6. Bask in your awesomeness

Note: Step #6 is absolutely necessary for any of this to work and cannot be skipped. It's not optional! Smile

Welcome to using Excel. I have been using it nearly every single day since 1995. It is a rather useful tool and a great skill to have.
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