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Using AutoFilter in Microsoft Excel

You have a sheet with multiple arrays of data and you need a way to make sense of it all.

Use the AutoFilter feature to have Excel automatically filter your data for you. AutoFilter works best when you have a lot of common fields. Suppose you want to see only those with the last name Lee.

From the menu, choose DataŕFilter, and then click AutoFilter. (This is a toggle, so the same menu commands will turn it back off.) Then, click the drop-down arrow that appears at the top of column B.

Then click on Lee.

You can filter by multiple criteria too. For instance, you can quickly find all the people in Arizona with a last name of Lee by hitting the dropdown in Column E, and choosing AZ, and then hit the drop-down in B and click on Lee.

To use AutoFilter and most Excel features effectively, there shouldn’t be any completely blank rows or completely blank columns in your data, and the first row should be the heading row! debuted on May 26, 2005. provides examples of Formulas, Functions and Visual Basic procedures for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. The Formulas, Functions and Visual Basic procedures on this web site are provided "as is" and we do not guarantee that they can be used in all situations.

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