Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Subtotals are Cool!

Using Excel’s built-in Subtotal feature can save you an enormous amount of time and can add some nifty (does anyone still say, “nifty”?) extra organizing muscle with practically no effort.  Rather than manually inserting blank rows between your groups of data and inserting your Sum functions, you can create your Subtotals in less than 60 seconds.
Here is How You Do It:

1.  Choose a worksheet on which you want to try using Subtotals on, and save it as a practice file, (perhaps as “Subtotal Practice”).  This is important, since you don’t want to have the possibility of messing up your original data.

2.  Then Sort Your Data according to the column on which you wish to subtotal.

3.  Select any cell within your data and go to Data / Subtotal.  This will generate a dialogue box that will give you your choice of which Column you wish to base your subtotal on, the Function (several choices in addition to Sum), and the column of data you wish to actually subtotal (Excel will guess, but you may have to change it).

4. Click OK and Voila!  Subtotals!

But, Wait, That’s Not All!  Excel will also provide the additional functionality of being able to Roll-Up or Expand your view of your worksheet based on the Subtotal Groupings.  This is a nice feature when you want to present your findings in a clean, professional manner (and, of course, you always want to do that…).
Try out this feature and find out why “Subtotals are Cool”!

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