How to Use Drop Down Menus

Filters are a great way to sort and analyze massive catalogs of data on Google Sheets. In this Blog, I will explain how to set up and use the in-chart filter menu.

Setting up The Filter

Setting up the menu is a pretty quick and easy, two-step process. I will walk you through it before talking about the Drop-Down menu itself.

Step #1: Click a Cell on the Desired Row

Setting up the drop down menu step 1

First, just click anywhere in the header row. When you add the Filter, it will be applied to every applicable cell in that row.

Step #2: Click "Create a Filter" in "Data" 

Setting up the drop down menu step 2

Next, you will click the "Data" tool in the header menu, and then select the "Create a Filter" tool. This should give all of the items in the column-header row a filter icon.

Your Filter Should Look Like This:

Setting up the drop down menu example

From here, you will be able to filter and sort your data in whatever way that you wish.

Ways to Use the Filter 

There are a few cool things that you can do with these Drop-Down menus, and I will show you the major ones.

A-Z (Alphabetical)

A-Z Alphabetical

Sorting "A-Z" in a Keyword-based column will sort the data in alphabetical order, starting at "A" and ending at "Z".

Sorting "Z-A" will have the inverse effect and sort the data in reverse alphabetical order, starting at "Z" and ending at "A".

A-Z (Numerical)

Sorting the drop down menu numerically

Sorting "A-Z" in a numerical column means that the column will sort itself from the smallest number to the largest number.

The inverse "Z-A" will do the exact opposite and sort it from the largest number to the smallest number.

Manually Searching by Values

To manually search for specific criteria, follow the steps in the diagram above. This can be used for keywords and numbers alike.

Sorting the drop down menu manually step 1

From here, you will be able to manually isolate rows of your data according to the "Value" you wish to analyze. 

In this case, I will look up the fictional store "Marty-Mart", by typing that into the search bar. 

Sorting the drop down menu manually final

As you can see, the only two items that appear on the data table now are the items that belong to "Marty-Mart". The more columns you have, the more specific you can be with your analysis.

And that is how you use the Filter in Google Sheets to sort things alphabetically, numerically, and more

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