How to Use Lists in Excel: Page 2

Excel offers a simple way to manage lists of data without resorting to the complexity of a database. Here's how to work with lists functions in both Excel 2007 and Excel 2003.


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Lists and Tables in Excel 2007

In Excel 2007 tables have replaced lists. Their effect is similar but the process of creating them is a little different. To format a list as a table, select it and from the Home tab select the Format as Table option in the Stylesgroup. Select a table style to apply to your data.

If you have a large table, when you scroll beyond the first screen, you will notice that the column letters A, B, C, D, etc. change to display the table headings. This ensures that you can easily identify the data you are looking at without having to resort to using the Freeze Panes command even when your worksheet is very large.

You manage the heading feature by using Table Tools > Design > Header Row. If the Header Row is enabled, the first row will be formatted differently and appear as column headings; if it's not, the regular column letters appear.

The AutoFilter is enabled by default for all Excel tables, but you can disable this if you like, by selecting the Home button and dropdown the Sort and Filter list and deselect the Filter. The column headings continue to work even if filtering is disabled.

If you select the cell below a column of numbers or text in the table you can click the down-pointing arrow to the right of the AutoSum function on the Home tab's Editing area. From here you can select a calculation to apply to that column of values.

When you do, the calculation works as a Subtotal function so it adjusts to show the result for all visible cells and not all cells in the table column.

In Excel 2007 you have more attractive table formats than you'll be used to using in Excel 2003, but apart from these the lists function very much the same in Excel 2007 as in Excel 2003.

Whether you're working with Lists in Excel 2003 or Tables in Excel 2007, you will find the tools that Excel provides for managing data in a table-like format make Excel a viable alternative to using a database application.

This article was first published on WinPlanet.

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