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Advanced Filter -- Complex Criteria

Set up the Database
Extract the Top Five Records
Filter for Matching Data in Two Columns
Filter for Unmatched Data in Two Columns
Video: Filter for Unmatched Data
Find Numbers within a Number
Filter Rows with Blank Cells
Filter Items in a List

This page gives details on criteria used for specialized Excel Advanced Filter.
For basic information, please visit the introduction to Excel Advanced Filter page.

Set up the Database

The samples on this page assume a data layout as shown below. The database is in columns A:D and the Excel advanced filter criteria range starts in cell F1.

advanced filter setup

Note: When you use a formula as the Excel advanced filter criterion, leave the heading cell blank, or use a heading that does not match any of the table headings.

Extract the Top Five Records

F1: Criteria Heading -- Leave blank
F2: Criteria:   =D2>=LARGE($D$2:$D$28,5)

The LARGE function returns the fifth largest value in the range D2:D28.
An absolute reference is used for the range -- $D$2:$D$28.

Cell D2, the first cell with data in the Total column, is compared to this value. A relative reference is used for this -- D2. Rows with a Total value that is greater than or equal to the fifth largest number, pass through the Excel advanced filter. (Note: In the case of ties, more than five records may be returned)

advanced filter top 5

Filter for Matching Data in Two Columns

F1: Criteria Heading -- Leave blank
F2: Criteria:   =C2=D2

In each record, the Order date is compared to the Ship date. A relative reference is used for this -- C2 and D2. Rows where the dates are equal pass through the Excel advanced filter.

advanced filter match

Filter for Unmatched Data in Two Columns

F1: Criteria Heading -- Leave blank
F2: Criteria:   =C2<>D2

In each record, the Invoice amount is compared to the amount Paid. A relative reference is used for this -- C2 and D2. Rows where the amounts are not equal are displayed.

advanced filter unmatched

Note: You can use a column heading in the criteria formula, instead of a cell reference. The formula will return the #NAME? or #VALUE! error, but the filter will work correctly. For example:

F2: Criteria:   =Invoice<>Paid

Video: Filter for Unmatched Data

To see the steps for creating an Advanced Filter for unmatched amounts in a row, please watch this short video. The written instructions are shown above.

Find Numbers within a Number

F1: Criteria Heading -- Leave blank
F2: Criteria:   =ISNUMBER(FIND("8",C2))

The FIND function looks for the string "8" in the contents of cell C2.
If it finds the number, the result is the location of the number in the string. If the number is not found, an Error is the result.

advanced filter find number

Filter Rows with Blank Cells

F1: Criteria Heading -- Leave blank
F2: Criteria:   =C2=""

In each record, the value in column C is checked. If it is an empty string, the record passes through the Excel advanced filter.

advanced filter find blank

Filter Items in a List

Column H: Enter the list of items that you want to match
F1: Criteria Heading -- Leave blank
F2: Criteria:   =COUNTIF(H:H,C2)

In each record, the value in column C is checked. If it is in the list in column H, the record passes through the Excel advanced filter.

advanced filter find in list

Download the Sample File

For a zipped workbook with sample data and Excel advanced filter criteria, click here.

Learn how to create Excel dashboards.

More Filter Tutorials

1. Excel Advanced Filter Introduction

1. AutoFilter Basics
2. AutoFilter Tips
3. AutoFilter Programming

   

 

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Last updated: July 12, 2013 9:52 AM