Create a column filter cell at the top of columns in Excel

Steve_Brady used Ask the Experts™

I use simple or basic filtering frequently in Excel. However, I rarely use advanced filtering—mainly because I have not forced myself to go through the learning curve re how to use it.

One thing I have started using more and more frequently in basic filtering is the search box which appears just above the list of column contents whenever a filtering drop-down menu is opened. The reason I like this is because as you type the search criteria, the list of possible matches shrinks rapidly enabling you to find what you are after more quickly.

Is there any way to get the same function in the top cell of a data column in a regular spreadsheet? I don't know if that is possible or not using advanced search but it would sure be nice to have the ability to filter data that quickly and with that few steps.

I suppose one of the reasons I've been hesitant to dive into advanced filtering, is that each time I have watched a video demonstrating how to use it, it's seemed to require several steps (entering criteria, defining criteria range, defining list range, etc.) And even the basic filter requires a few steps (turning filters on, clicking the drop-down arrow, type in the entry, etc.). Also, basic filtering does not allow you to type your search criteria in one column and then type other search criteria in other columns while still seeing the initial search criteria.

Many thanks for comments & suggestions.
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You would need code to do that - there's no built-in facility that I can think of.
Ditto to Rory. The steps you described are about the easiest it gets when it comes to filtering. It's easy-ish, but there are steps you must take to initiate it. For me, Advanced Filter should be used when you have either a complex set of filter criteria, more criteria than the standard autofilter can handle, or want to move (read: copy) the data to another location. But you could use code to make use of this functionality if you wanted to.

Zack Barresse


Thanks for the responses.

I'm fine with a solution using code if that's what's needed. I will begin new thread to obtain the code since I have very little experience with VBA.



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