Excel 2010 Outlining Data

Author: mety Nagm Labels::

Excel 2010

Outlining Data


Lesson 12
If the amount of data in your worksheet becomes overwhelming, creating an outline can help. Not only does this allow you to organize your data into groups, and then show or hide them from view; you can also summarize data for quick analysis using the Subtotal command (for example, subtotaling the cost of office supplies depending on the type of product).
In this lesson, you will learn how to outline your worksheet in order to summarize and control how your data is displayed.

Outlining Data

Launch video!Watch the video (4:19). Need help?
Outlines give you the ability to group data that you may want to show or hide from view, and create a quick summary using the Subtotal command. Because outlines rely on grouping data that is related, youmust sort before you can outline. For more information, you may want to review the Sorting Data lesson.
Watch the video to learn about outlining and grouping data.

To Outline Data Using Subtotal:

The Subtotal command can be used to outline your worksheet in many different ways. It uses common functions like SUM, COUNT, AVG, and more, to summarize your data, and place it in a group. To learn more about functions, visit our Working with Basic Functions lesson.
In this example, we will use the Subtotal command to count the number of t-shirt sizes that were ordered at a local high school. This will also place each t-shirt size in a group, making it possible to show the count, but hide the details that are not crucial to the placing of the order (such as the student's homeroom number and payment date).
  1. Sort according to the data you want to outline. Outlines rely on grouping data that is related. In this example, we will outline the worksheet by T-Shirt Size, which has been sorted from smallest to largest.
    Sorted by t-shirt sizeSorted by t-shirt size
  2. Select the Data tab, and locate the Outline group.
  3. Click the Subtotal command to open the Subtotal dialog box.
    Opening the Subtotal dialog boxOpening the Subtotal dialog box
  4. In the At each change in field, select the column you want to use to outline your worksheet. In this example, we will choose T-Shirt Size.
  5. In the Use function field, choose from the list of functions that are available for subtotaling. We will use the COUNT function to tally the number of each size.
  6. Select the column you want the subtotal to appear in. We will choose the T-Shirt Size column.
  7. Click OK.
    Clicking OK to subtotalClicking OK to subtotal
  8. The contents of your worksheet will be outlined. Each t-shirt size will be placed in its own group, and the subtotal (in this case, count) will be listed below each group.
    Outlined with subtotalOutlined with subtotal

    Showing or Hiding Data

    To Show or Hide a Group:

    1. Click the minus sign, also known as the Hide Detail symbol, to collapse the group.
      Hiding an expanded groupHiding an expanded group
    2. Click the plus sign, also known as the Show Detail symbol, to expand the group again.
      Showing a collapsed groupShowing a collapsed group
    You can also use the show detailor hide detail commands on the Data tab in the Outline group. First select a cell in the group you want to show or hide, then click the appropriate command.

    To View Groups by Level:

    The groups in your outline, based on their hierarchy, are placed on different levels. You can quickly display as little or as much information as you want by clicking the level symbols level 1, 2, 3 to the left of your worksheet. In this example, we will view levels in descending order, starting with the entire worksheet on display, then finishing with the grand total. While this example contains only 3 levels, Excel can accommodate up to 8.
    1. Click the highest level (in this example, level 3) to view and expand all of your groups. Viewing groups at the highest level will display the entirety of your worksheet.
      Viewing data at the highest levelViewing data at the highest level
    2. Click the next level (in this example, level 2) to hide the detail of the previous level. In this example, level 2 contains each subtotal.
      Viewing data on level 2Viewing data on level 2
  9. Click the lowest level (level 1) to display the lowest level of detail. In this example, level 1 contains only the grand total.
    Viewing data on level 1Viewing data on level 1

    Removing Groups and Subtotaling

    To Ungroup Data:

    1. Select the rows or columns that you want to ungroup. In this example, we will ungroup size Small.
      Selecting cells to ungroupSelecting cells to ungroup
    2. From the Data tab, click the Ungroup command. The range of cells will be ungrouped.
      Ungrouping the selected cellsUngrouping the selected cells
    To ungroup all the groups in your outline, open the drop-down menu under the Ungroup command, and chooseClear Outline.
    Ungroup and Clear Outline will not remove subtotaling from your worksheet. Summary or subtotal data will stay in place and continue to function until you remove it.

    To Ungroup Data and Remove Subtotaling:

    1. From the Data tab, click the Subtotal command to open the Subtotal dialog box.
    2. Click Remove All.
      Removing groups and subtotalingRemoving groups and subtotaling
  10. All data will be ungrouped, and subtotals will be removed.
    Data without groups or subtotalingData without groups or subtotaling

    Creating Your Own Groups

    The Group command allows you to group any range of cells - either columns or rows. It does not calculate a subtotal, or rely on your data being sorted. This gives you the ability to show or hide any part of your worksheet, and display only the information you need.

    To Create and Control Your Own Group:

    In this example, we will prepare a list of t-shirt colors and sizes that need to be distributed to each homeroom. Some of the data in the worksheet is not relevant to the distribution of the t-shirts; however, instead of deleting it, we will group it, then temporarily hide it from view.
    1. Select the range of cells that you want to group. In this example, we will group the First Name, Last Name, and Payment columns.
      Selecting a range of cells to groupSelecting a range of cells to group
    2. From the Data tab, click the Group command.
      Grouping the selected cellsGrouping the selected cells
    3. Excel will group the selected columns or rows.
      Grouped cellsGrouped cells
    4. Click the minus sign, also known as the Hide Detail symbol, to hide the group.
    5. The group will be hidden from view.
      Click to show a hidden groupClick to show a hidden group
    Click the plus sign, also known as the Show Detail symbol, to show the group again.



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