Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Extracting Targeted Records from a List.

Extracting Targeted Records from a List

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 27, 2021)

In a business environment, it is not unusual to use Excel to help manage the data you need to work with every day. For instance, you may use Excel to "crunch" invoice data, shipping records, or any number of different types of data. When working with that data, you may need to extract different records based upon particular criteria.

This is where the filtering capabilities of Excel come in handy. Consider the scenario where you have several thousand orders, covering customers across the country. You may want to extract the orders that belong to customers in targeted states so that you can process them first. You can do this using the advanced filtering capabilities of Excel. (For these steps, assume that the data you want to filter is in columns A through K.)

  1. Make sure that every column in your data list has a label that describes what is in that column. For instance, the column containing each customer's state could have "State" as a label.
  2. In cell N1, enter the word "State". You are setting up a criteria table in this column, and this label informs Excel which column you want to use in matching criteria. Make this cell bold, and underline it, if desired.
  3. Starting in cell N2, enter the states you want to extract from the main data list. Enter one state per cell in the column.
  4. Select a cell somewhere within columns A through K, in your main data.
  5. Display the Data tab of the ribbon.
  6. Click the Advanced tool in the Sort & Filter group. Excel displays the Advanced Filter dialog box, with the address of your original data table already in the List Range box. (See Figure 1.)
  7. Figure 1. The Advanced Filter dialog box.

  8. Make sure the Copy to Another Location option is selected.
  9. Place the insertion pointer in the Criteria Range box, then select (on the worksheet) the range of cells in column N that comprise the list of states. Make sure you include cell N1, which is the label.
  10. Place the insertion pointer in the Copy To box, then select a cell where you want the records extracted to. You must select a cell in the same worksheet on which the data is located.
  11. If you want to leave out any duplicate records, make sure the Unique Records Only check box is selected.
  12. Click on OK.

That's it—Excel copies those records that have one of your target states to whatever location you specified in step 9, and the original data is left unchanged.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6116) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Extracting Targeted Records from a List.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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