How to Group and Outline Excel Data

By Techwalla Contributor

How to Group and Outline Excel Data. Outlining data in an Excel spreadsheet will organize the sheet and make it easier to view. Data can be collapsed so that only the summary is available or expanded to view details. Once your spreadsheet is prepared and organized, it's easy to use various features to group and outline your Excel data.

Step 1

Open your Excel spreadsheet. Organize the data to be outlined. Make sure the fields you want to group are adjacent to each other. Insert summary rows or columns beneath or beside the fields that you will be outlining. Summary rows or columns should contain formulas to average or sum up the fields to be outlined.

Step 2

Highlight the series of columns or rows you want to group. Select rows or columns by clicking on the gray letter or number field at the side or top of the spreadsheet.

Step 3

Choose "Data" from the menu. Choose "Group and outline." Select "Group." You'll see a gray box on the left side of the spreadsheet, with a line beside the rows of grouped Excel data. If you grouped columns, you will see the gray box and the line at the top of the spreadsheet.

Step 4

Click the "-" to collapse or hide the grouped fields, and the "+" to expand or display them.

Step 5

Select the rows and columns that you have grouped. Click "Data," "Group and outline" and "Ungroup" to remove the grouping. To remove all groups and outlining, click "Data." Click "Group and outline" and choose "Clear outline."