Table formatting in Excel to easily use sorting and filtering functions

Knowing the table formatting options in Excel will give you a solid foundation for effective data handling and data analysis. With table formatting you easily get a worksheet that is clean, visually appealing, and interactive. Because it is so useful, use the following table formatting steps with every table data and data export to Excel!

Table formatting steps for Excel

  1. Click in data > select table tab: Excel offers you know 60 templates to use for your table. Choose one that suits you.
  2. A light box opens and ask you to insert a table with or without headlines. Click ok to confirm your choice.
  3. Excel will auto-detect the borders of your table
  4. Hide or delete columns you are not going to use (right click on columns)
  5. Auto expand the column widths (double-click on any column separator)
  6. Remove gridlines (Layout > switch off gridlines)
  7. Freeze headline cells to enable scrolling with fixed headlines (Layout > fix cells)

As a result you have quickly created a professional table that is perfectly suited to work with your data. The formatting tables options in the Excel Mac version and the PC version differ in appearance but function more or less  in the same way.

Beyond creating a clean and appealing data set, the best benefit to formatting data as a table, is the multiplicity of sorting and filtering options it provides. You can recognize these functions in form of the small arrows next to the headlines of your table. Read more about sorting in filtering options in the next steps.

Sorting options in Excel