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Chapter 23. Working with Lists and Datab... > Summarizing, Grouping, Outlining, an...

Summarizing, Grouping, Outlining, and Subtotaling Lists

When analyzing a lengthy list of numbers, the crucial first step is to summarize the data— by displaying totals and averages, for example. Instead of doing the job manually—by sorting the list, inserting extra rows and headings, and then adding calculations to total subgroups—let Excel automatically group the data in your list by using a column you specify, inserting summary calculations at each change of data. After you sort your list by one or more fields, Excel inserts a subtotal row for each group and adds a formula that performs the calculation you specify. It is extremely easy to remove subtotals and re-create them.

Tip

Adding subtotals is an effective way to work with short lists, but PivotTable reports (covered in Chapter 25, "Using PivotTables and PivotCharts">) almost always represent a better way to accomplish the same task with far greater flexibility. Although it may take a few extra steps to set up a PivotTable report, the effort is invariably worth it in most cases.



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