Displaying Multiple Filtered Colors

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 19, 2019)

1

Kris knows how to filter information in a worksheet by color. The filtering tools allows him to select which color of text or background he wants to display. Kris wonders if there is a way to filter so that multiple colors are displayed. If he is filtering by cell contents, he can easily pick multiple matching items to be displayed but cannot figure out how to do it for colors.

There are two ways you can go about this. The first approach doesn't rely on filtering at all. Instead, sort your data by color. If you do two (or more) sorting passes, you should be able to get the desired colors all next to each other. Then, select the remaining rows (the one using colors you don't want to see) and hide those rows.

Again, this is just a workaround, and it can work fine for relatively short lists of data. The second approach is to use a helper column. All you need to do is to enter, in each cell of the helper column, the name of the color in that row—i.e., red, orange, yellow, green, etc. You can then filter by that column and thereby display multiple colors in your filtered results.

If your data table is too long, typing all those colors could get monotonous and be prone to errors. You could, if desired, create two very short user-defined functions that would simply return the color of a specific cell. This UDF returns the color of the text itself:

Function FColor(cell)
    FColor = cell.Font.ColorIndex
End Function

The following is a variation that returns the interior color of the cell itself:

Function IColor(cell)
    IColor = cell.Interior.ColorIndex
End Function

In your helper column, enter a formula that relies on the desired UDF. For instance, if you want to filter by the interior color in column A, you would enter this formula in the helper column of row 1:

=IColor(A1)

The cell should now contain the color number. Copy this cell down as far as necessary, and then filter by the contents of this column. Since you can select multiple numeric values to appear in your filtered data, you effectively end up with multiple colors in the results.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13611) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Deleting a Range of Pages

Need to delete a range of pages out of the middle of your document? It's easy to do using editing techniques you already ...

Discover More

Jumping Back in a Long Document

Navigating quickly and easily around a document becomes critical as the document becomes larger and larger. This tip ...

Discover More

Customizing the Start Menu

Windows gives you the ability to customize exactly what appears on your Start menu. Here's how you get to the controls ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Column Formatting Based On a Filter

When working with filtered data, you may want to specially format a column that has a filter applied to it. Here are a ...

Discover More

Skipping Rows when Filling

Using the fill handle is a great way to quickly fill a range of cells with values. Sometimes, however, the way to fill ...

Discover More

Counting Filtered Rows

The filtering capabilities of Excel are indispensable when working with large sets of data. When you create a filtered ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is four more than 3?

2019-01-22 10:34:01

Gary

Nice UDFs! I don't have a lot of experience with UDFs, but it doesn't seem like I've had to use the file name of my personal workbook (where I save all of my code), in the past, when I used a UDF. For some reason this one requires that I add Personal.xlsm! when I type the UDF in order for it to work. What's wrong?

Thank you!

Gary


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.