Deriving a List of Albums by a Music Artist

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 5, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Steve has a worksheet containing a list of music artists, albums, and the year of album release. (These are for his music collection.) Steve goes to a lot of music festivals, and he is trying to work out how to return, from a full music list, a list of albums by the artists that he is going to see at the festival. He has tried various array formulas, but to no avail.

For the purposes of this tip, I'm going to assume that your data is quite simple: Column A contains the artist, column B the album name, and column C the year that the album was released. Given this data, there are a few different approaches you can use.

First, you can select a cell in the data, display the Data tab of the ribbon, and then click the Filter tool. Excel displays drop-down arrows next to columns A, B, and C. Click the down-arrow for column A (the artist) and then, from the options presented, make sure that only the artists you want are selected. Those, then, are displayed and you can print your list for the festival.

Another approach is to use the FILTER function. (This will work if you are using Excel 2021 or Microsoft 365.) If you, for instance, want to search your list for any artists named "Enya" or "Eagles" (I'm obviously showing my age), then you could use the following formula to display just the desired artists and their albums:


This works great if your original list is already sorted, but you could also encase the entire formula in the SORT function:


A third approach is to create a very simple PivotTable based on your music collection. You can easily add the artist column to the Rows of the PivotTable, which will then show you all your artists in alphabetic order. If you then want to see the albums of a particular artist, double-click on the artist name and then choose Album from the resulting Show Detail dialog box.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13910) 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. ...


Determining the Number of Fonts Available

When creating a macro, you may need to figure out how many fonts are available to Word. You can do this using the ...

Discover More

Setting Paste Default to Use Target Formatting

There are several ways that Word can handle formatting when you paste information in a document. This tip shows you how ...

Discover More

Find and Replace in a Column or Row

Need to search for information in a table? Word allows you to easily limit your search to an entire column or row, as ...

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)

Clearing Only Filtering Settings

When you filter data in a worksheet, Excel also allows you to apply sorting orders to that data. Here is a ...

Discover More

Showing Filter Criteria on a Printout

When you print out a filtered worksheet, you may want some sort of printed record as to what filtering was applied to the ...

Discover More

Filtering for Purchases within a Given Month

Filtering is a great tool when dealing with large data sets. Knowing how to apply a filter, though, can be a bit tricky ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 two more than 7?

2023-09-05 02:23:43


In my Office 2019 there isn't any FILTER-Function.

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

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.