How To Filter Data In Google Docs Spreadsheets

Google Docs is by far one of the best online office suites which allows rich features e.g threaded comments, document sorting, revision history, easy translation and supports a wide range of file formats.

Since the day I have switched to Google Docs from contemporary office applications like MS-Office and Open Office, I can say that Google Docs has improved quite a lot as the developers continue to add rich features to Google’s free web based office suite.

One of the much needed features which was missing in Google Docs spreadsheets was the ability to filter data in Google Docs spreadsheets. Thankfully, Google Docs team has just added support for data filtering in Google Docs and this tutorial shows how to do the same.

How To Filter Specific Data Sets From A Google Docs Spreadsheet

1. First you have to select the row or column where you want the data to be filtered. To select an entire row or column in a Google Docs spreadsheet, all you have to do is click the name of the column or row and highlight it, as shown below:

Select all cells or columns of Google Docs spreadsheet

2. When you have selected the entire row or column where the data is to be filtered, click the Filter button on the spreadsheets toolbar panel:

Filter data in Google Docs spreadsheet

3. As soon as you hit the “Filter” button, selected cells, columns or the entire range will turn Green.

Next, click the small arrow at the topmost cell or column and define the condition for data filtering, as shown in the following image:

Filtering values from Google Docs spreadsheet

In the above example, I am filtering a set of names from a large list of names. You can apply custom filter rules to values, numbers and decimal points – the filtering rule will depend on the type of data set contained in the Excel spreadsheet you’re working on.

Note: You can always select multiple values /names /numbers in the filter conditions. In the above example, I have used just one value to filter.

4.Clicking “OK” will show only the filtered results, as shown below:

Filtered values, names Google Docs spreadsheet

This is a great way to sort and filter data in Google Docs, without having to search repeatedly for particular values, named ranges or the same data set distributed among hundreds of thousands of cells in the same Google Docs spreadsheet. If you use Google Docs within your organization for accounting purposes, using Custom filters in Google Docs will be a lifesaver.

Please note that there is no way to save the filtered results for later use and neither there is any way to save the filtered rules and use them on other sheets of the same Excel spreadsheet.

However, if you want to use the filtered data elsewhere , you always have the option to copy paste data across specific cells or columns from one sheet to another.

Related: Working with Google Docs date functions

Amit Banerjee is the founding editor and owner of Ampercent. He is a die hard technology enthusiast and writes about all things technology, How to guides, tutorials and search engines. Follow him on Twitter, read his personal blog or drop him an email.

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