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Excel 2007 for Starters: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Chapter 8. Tables: List Management Made Easy

  • The Basics of Tables

  • Sorting and Filtering a Table

Excel’s Grid-like Main Window Gives You Lots Of Freedom to organize your information. As you’ve seen in the chapters so far, tables of data can assume a variety of shapes and sizes—from complex worksheets that track expenses, to a simple list of dishes your guests are bringing to a potluck dinner.

Some tables are quite sophisticated, with multiple levels, subtotals, and summary information. But in many cases, your table consists of nothing more than a long list of data, with a single row at the top that provides descriptive column headings. These types of tables are so common that Excel provides a set of features designed exclusively for managing them. These tools let you control your tables in style—sorting, searching, and filtering your information with just a couple of mouse clicks. But before you can use any of these tools, you have to convert your garden-variety table into a structured table.

In this chapter, you’ll learn more about what, exactly, a structured table is, how to create one, and how to make use of all its features and frills.

Note

In previous versions of Excel, the tables feature was called lists. It’s still the same feature, but Microsoft developers were so pleased with the improvements they added in Excel 2007 that they decided it deserved a whole new name.

The Basics of Tables

An Excel table is really nothing more than a way to store a bunch of information about a ...

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