Entering a Date in a Filter

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 16, 2022)

When Ulises filters information in a table, Excel allows him to filter by date. However, the list of available dates (obviously pulled from the information in the table) is quite long. This makes it cumbersome to locate and choose from those dates. Ulises wonders if there is a way to enter a date in a filter without using the check boxes.

Yes, there is. When you first click the Filter tool on the Data tab of the ribbon, Excel adds filter drop-down arrows at the top of each column in your data. If you click the down-arrow at the top of your date column, you'll see some filtering options. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Selecting filtering parameters.

It is the checkboxes at the bottom of this options box that Ulises is referring to. If your data has many, many dates, then drilling down to a specific date can be cumbersome, at best.

A better approach would be to hover the mouse pointer over the Date Filters option in the box. This causes Excel to display a plethora of ways you can filter based on dates. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. Date filtering options.

Each of these options displays, when chosen, the Custom AutoFilter dialog box. The only difference is what settings are shown in the dialog box; they are set, initially, based on the option you chose. For this reason, I'll often skip to the chase and just choose the Custom Filter option, at the bottom of those offered. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. The Custom AutoFilter dialog box.

Using the controls in the Custom AutoFilter dialog box, you can specify exactly what you want to use in your filter. I find it quite handy to use the date picker tools, at the right side of the dialog box, to select the dates I want used in the filter. When you click on OK, then your data is filtered, without the need to use the check boxes you first see.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12940) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

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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