Chapter 5: Introducing Tables

In This Chapter

Understanding how a table differs from a normal range

Working with tables

Using the Total Row

Removing duplicate rows from a table

Sorting and filtering a table

A very common type of spreadsheet contains information in a structured list, also known as a table. A table is a rectangular range of data that usually has a row of text headings to describe the contents of each column. Excel's table feature makes common tasks much easier — and a lot better looking. More importantly, the table features may help eliminate some common errors.

This chapter is a basic introduction to Excel tables. As always, I urge you to just dig in and experiment with the various table-related commands. You may be surprised by what you can accomplish with just a few mouse clicks.

What Is a Table?

A table is a rectangular range of structured data. Each row in the table corresponds to a single entity. For example, a row can contain information about a customer, a bank transaction, an employee, a product, and so on. Each column contains a specific piece of information. For example, if each row contains information about an employee, the columns can contain data such as name, employee number, hire date, salary, department, and so on. Tables typically have a header row at the top that describes the information contained in each column.

Setting up data like this in a range of cells is very straightforward. The magic happens when you tell Excel to convert a range ...

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