Blog Article

How to Use the Filter Function in Google Sheets

Neeraj Shukla
By Neeraj Shukla | February 22, 2024 8:39 am

When handling large datasets in Google Sheets, using filters significantly improves data management. Filters allow you to hide specific types of data, like numbers or text, within a selected range, simplifying your view by removing irrelevant information. This streamlined approach is further enhanced by Google Sheets integrations, which facilitate workflow automation. By applying filters, you can automate data sorting and retrieval, especially useful when integrated with other applications for seamless data analysis. For instance, integrating Google Sheets with CRM systems enables the automatic filtering of customer data, enhancing both productivity and efficiency in managing and analyzing complex datasets.

What is the Filter Function in Google Sheets?

A filter in Google Sheets is a feature that allows users to narrow down the data in their spreadsheet by hiding rows that do not meet certain criteria. It enables the selective display of only the rows that are relevant to a specific query or requirement, without actually removing or deleting any data. This is particularly useful in managing and analyzing large sets of data, where focusing on specific subsets can provide clearer insights or facilitate easier manipulation of the information.

For example, if you have a spreadsheet containing sales data for different products across various regions and months, applying a filter could enable you to view only the sales data for a specific product in a particular region during a selected time frame. Filters can be applied to one column or multiple columns simultaneously, and users can set up custom criteria for filtering, such as values greater or lesser than a certain number, text that contains specific characters, or dates within a specified range.

Getting Started with Basic Google Sheets Filter

  1. Applying a Basic Filter
  2. Open your Google Sheets document.

    Select the range of cells or columns you want to filter. For a full-column filter, click the column letter at the top.
    Click on the "Data" menu and select "Create a filter" or click the filter icon in the toolbar.
    Once applied, you will see a dropdown arrow next to the column letters or on the selected cells. Clicking on this dropdown will allow you to select the criteria for filtering the data.

  3. Using Filter Criteria
  4. Text data can be filtered by specific text, by text that contains certain characters, or by conditions such as "text starts with" or "text ends with."
    Numeric data can be filtered by specific numbers, ranges, or conditions like "greater than," "less than," or "between."
    Date data can be filtered by specific dates, ranges, or conditions such as "before," "after," or "exact date."

How to Save Filter Views in Google Sheets?

Saving filter views in Google Sheets allows for a personalized and dynamic way to analyze your data without altering the view for other users. This feature is especially beneficial in collaborative environments or when needing to frequently switch between different data perspectives.

Step 1: Open Your Google Sheets Document

Navigate to Google Sheets and open the document you wish to analyze. Ensure that the sheet contains the data you want to apply filters to.

Step 2: Create a Filter If Not Already Done

If your data isn't already filtered, you need to apply a basic filter first. Select the range of cells or columns you want to filter, click on the "Data" menu, and choose "Create a filter." This action enables the filtering functionality on your data, preparing it for the creation of filter views.

Step 3: Create a New Filter View

To begin creating a new filter view, access the "Data" menu, move your cursor over "Filter views" to expand its options, and select "Create new filter view." This action initiates a new filter view mode, indicated by a distinctive black border around your data, signifying that you are working within a unique view that does not impact the main dataset or other users' experiences.

Step 4: Customize Your Filter View

Once in the filter view mode, you have the freedom to customize your filters according to your analytical needs. By clicking on the dropdown arrows in the column headers, you can set various filter criteria, such as sorting alphabetically or numerically or filtering by specific values, conditions, or ranges. This customization allows for a tailored analysis, enabling you to explore your data from multiple angles without modifying the original dataset.

Step 5: Name and Save Your Filter View

After setting your filters, it's important to name your filter view for future reference. At the top of the filter view, you'll find an option to name or rename your view. Choose a descriptive name that reflects the nature of the filter or the analysis you're conducting. Once named, your filter view is automatically saved. You can exit the filter view by clicking the close button (X) on the right side of the black filter view bar.

Step 6: Accessing and Managing Filter Views

To access your saved filter views, return to the "Data" menu, hover over "Filter views," and you'll see a list of all your saved views. Selecting a view from this list will apply the corresponding filters to your data, allowing for quick switches between different analyses. This list also provides options to update, duplicate, or delete existing views, offering flexibility in managing your analytical perspectives.

Advanced Filtering Techniques

Advanced filtering techniques in Google Sheets provide powerful ways to sift through and analyze your data with precision. These techniques allow for a deeper dive into your datasets, enabling you to uncover insights tailored to very specific analytical needs.

  1. Filter by Condition
  2. Using the filter by condition option in Google Sheets, you can set up complex criteria that go beyond simple value matching. This functionality is invaluable when dealing with datasets that require a nuanced approach to filtering, such as isolating specific ranges of data or highlighting entries based on a particular attribute.

    • How It Works: To filter by condition, click on the filter icon in a column header, then choose "Filter by condition." From here, you can select from a wide range of conditions such as "greater than," "less than," "text contains," or "date before." You can even use custom formulas for filtering if the predefined conditions do not meet your needs.
    • Practical Application: For instance, if you're analyzing sales data, you might want to see only the transactions that exceed a certain value. You can focus your analysis on high-value transactions by setting a condition to filter rows where the sales amount is greater than a specific figure. Similarly, if you're looking for entries related to a specific product or category, the "text contains" condition can isolate those rows for you.

  3. Filter by Values
  4. The filter by values feature offers a straightforward way to view only the rows that contain certain values. This method is particularly effective for datasets with distinct, non-sequential values that you need to review or analyze separately.

    • How It Works: After applying a filter to your column, clicking on the filter icon will display a checklist of all the unique values found in that column. You can then manually select which values to include in your filtered view. Google Sheets provides the convenience of searching within this list, making it easier to find and select the values you're interested in.
    • Practical Application: This approach is highly useful in scenarios where you need to examine data for specific categories or identifiers. For example, if you have a dataset with various product types and you only want to analyze data related to a few selected products, you can simply tick those products in the filter by values list to see only the relevant rows. This manual selection process allows for quick comparisons and focused analysis without the need for complex formulas or conditions.

Enhance the Functionality of Google Sheets with Add-ons and Integrations

The Google Workspace Marketplace is a treasure trove of add-ons that extend Google Sheets' functionality, from data analysis tools to productivity enhancers, catering to a wide array of needs. The best Google Sheets add-ons help you create customized workflow while Google Sheets integrations enhance its functionality more effectively.

By leveraging these integrations and add-ons, along with Google Sheets' powerful filtering capabilities, users can achieve an unprecedented level of efficiency and insight in their data management practices. Whether it's through automating data sorting and retrieval, enhancing productivity with Google Sheet integration, or ensuring seamless workflow with spreadsheet integration, Google Sheets stands as an indispensable tool in the modern data analysis and management toolkit.


Mastering the filter function in Google Sheets opens up a world of possibilities for data management, analysis, and collaboration. From applying basic filters to utilizing advanced filtering techniques, users can significantly enhance their ability to navigate and interpret large datasets with precision and ease. Integrating Google Sheets with various applications and add-ons, such as CRM systems, Microsoft Excel, Zoho Sheet, Smartsheet, and Jotform, further expands its functionality, enabling seamless data synchronization, workflow automation, and real-time updates. By leveraging these tools and techniques, Google Sheets becomes an even more powerful and indispensable tool for anyone looking to efficiently manage and analyze data in a collaborative and dynamic environment.

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Neeraj Shukla

Content Manager at Appy Pie