- array - Range or array to filter.
- include - Boolean array, supplied as criteria.
- if_empty - [optional] Value to return when no results are returned.
How to use
The FILTER function "filters" a range of data based on one or more conditions, and extracts matching records. The result is an array of matching values from the original data. Conditions are provided as logical tests that target the data to extract. For example, FILTER can extract data that occurs in a certain year or month, data that contains specific text, or data that contains values greater than a certain threshold. The results from FILTER are dynamic. If source data changes, or if conditions are modified, FILTER will return new results. This makes FILTER a very good way to isolate and inspect specific data without altering the original dataset. Watch the video below to see a basic example of FILTER in action:
The FILTER function takes three arguments: array, include, and if_empty. Array is the range or array to filter. The include argument should consist of one or more logical tests. These tests should return TRUE or FALSE based on the evaluation of values from array. The last argument, if_empty, is the result to return when FILTER finds no matching values. Typically this is a message like "No records found", but other values can be returned as well. Supply an empty string ("") to display nothing.
To extract values in A1:A10 that are greater than 100:
To extract rows in A1:C5 where the value in A1:A5 is greater than 100:
Notice the only difference in the above formulas is that the second formula provides a multi-column range for array. The logical test used for the include argument is the same.
Note: FILTER will return a #CALC! error if no matching data is found
Filter for Red group
In the example shown above, the formula in F5 is:
Since the value in H2 is "red", the FILTER function extracts data from array where the Group column contains "red". All matching records are returned to the worksheet starting from cell F5, where the formula exists.
Values can be hardcoded as well. The formula below has the same result as above with "red" hardcoded into the criteria:
No matching data
The value for is_empty is returned when FILTER does not find matching results. If a value for if_empty is not provided, FILTER will return a #CALC! error if no matching data is found:
=FILTER(range,logic) // #CALC! error
Often, is_empty is configured to provide a text message to the user:
=FILTER(range,logic,"No results") // display message
To display nothing when no matching data is found, supply an empty string ("") for if_empty:
=FILTER(range,logic,"") // display nothing
Values that contain text
To extract data based on a logical test for values that contain specific text, you can use a formula like this:
In this formula, the SEARCH function is used to look for "txt" in rng2, which would typically be a column in rng1. The ISNUMBER function is used to convert the result from SEARCH into TRUE or FALSE. Read a full explanation here.
Filter by date
FILTER can be used with dates by constructing logical tests appropriate for Excel dates. For example, to extract records from rng1 where the date in rng2 is in July you can use a generic formula like this:
At first glance, it's not obvious how to apply multiple criteria with the FILTER function. Unlike older functions like COUNTIFS and SUMIFS, which provide multiple arguments for entering multiple conditions, the FILTER function only provides a single argument, include, to target data. The trick is to create logical expressions that use Boolean algebra to target the data of interest and supply these expressions as the include argument. For example, to extract data where one value is "A" and another value is greater than 80, you can use a formula like this:
The math operation of multiplication (*) joins the two conditions with AND logic: both conditions must be TRUE in order for FILTER to retrieve the data. See a detailed explanation here.
To filter and extract data based on multiple complex criteria, you can use the FILTER function with a chain of expressions that use boolean logic. For example, the generic formula below filters based on three separate conditions: account begins with "x" AND region is "east", and month is NOT April.
See this page for a full explanation. Building criteria with logical expressions is an elegant and flexible approach that can be extended to handle many complex scenarios. See below for more examples.
- FILTER can work with both vertical and horizontal arrays.
- The include argument must have dimensions compatible with the array argument, otherwise FILTER will return #VALUE!
- If the include array includes any errors, FILTER will return an error.