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Chapter 19. Outlining, Subtotaling, and ... > Grouping or Outlining Data

Grouping or Outlining Data

Outlining and grouping are two of Excel’s data-management features. They’re very similar. You can use grouping to effectively manage columns and rows with multiple levels of groups that display and hide information. Grouping data is different from outlining in that groups are defined to any depth, level, and location you want. An outline, on the other hand, is based on a structured list or table that has totals and subsets already built in.

Tip From

When creating or establishing a workbook or database, don’t move forward with the intention of just starting to create, and planning to incorporate the functionality as your needs grow. Outlines and groups are created from structure. If your list has no structure, your outline has little or no meaning for the user.

To outline a list or table, consider working backward from the list and asking the question, “What information do I need to extract from the list?” If possible, write down the information and even how it’s presented. This will help you work backward in planning the structure of the list.



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