Grouping a Table in Excel


Microsoft Excel provides a Group option to help organize your table’s rows and columns. Grouping your data gives the flexibility to choose the content to display for analysis. For instance, the grouped data can quickly hide from the worksheet for a more streamlined look and to enable you to view other data with fewer distractions. An Excel table will accommodate a maximum of eight groups or levels to reveal the preferred amount of data for your next task. Before you start grouping the data, be sure no rows or columns are hidden, and no blank or empty cells occupy your table.

  • Click and drag to select the table cells for this group. Click the "Data" tab on the command ribbon, click "Group" in the Outline group to open the drop-down list, and then select "Group" to open the dialog box.

  • Select the "Rows" or "Columns" radio button, and then click "OK" to insert the outline symbols and the numbered boxes in the side or top margins next to your worksheet. The worksheet data will also shift to make room for the margin. Tiny dots between the outline symbol and the headers will indicate the grouped rows or columns.

  • Click the "-" square button at the end of the outline symbol to hide this group of rows or columns. Click the "+" square button to expand the hidden data and display the group on the worksheet. As an alternative, click the "Data" tab, and then click "Show Detail" or "Hide Detail" in the Outline group.

  • Press "Ctrl-S" to save this updated worksheet.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your table includes a summary row or a summary column, such as for totals, do not select this row or column.Your summary column or summary row will remain on the worksheet when the rest of the group is hidden. This visible summary data will help you locate the hidden group on your worksheet.
  • To create inner groups or sub-groups within a larger outer group, click and drag the rows or columns, and click "Group" in the Outline group. Continue selecting "Rows" or "Columns," and then click "OK." You will see a shorter outline configuration and one or more tiny dots in the margin to indicate the grouped data. Click a numbered box in the margin to help you navigate your data in the various groups.
  • To ungroup the table, click the "Data" tab on the ribbon, click "Ungroup" in the Outline group to open the drop-down list, and then select "Ungroup" or "Clear Outline."
  • Information in this article applies to Microsoft Excel 2013 Home & Business. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.

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