About this lesson
Learn about adding and working with Excel’s outlining tools to quickly hide irrelevant sections of your worksheet.
Multiple versions of this lesson are available, choose the appropriate version for you:
Download the ‘before’ and ‘after’ Excel workbooks from the video tutorial and try the lesson yourself.Outlining.xlsx
20.6 KB Outlining - Completed.xlsx
Adding and working with Excel’s outlining tools to quickly hide irrelevant sections of your document.
When to use
Outlining tools are fantastic for hiding and showing key sections of your document very quickly. This lets you compress pieces you don’t need in order to focus on the document pieces that you do need to see.
- Select rows 6:10 and go to Data > Group > Group
- Notice that there is now a compression line at row 11 (the row AFTER your selection)
- Click the – button to hide the rows, and the + button to re-expand them
- Apply outlining to rows 14:18, 20:25 and 27:32 (compression lines on 19,26,33)
Creating nested outlining
- Select rows 13:33, go to Data > Group > Group
- Click the 1 in the top left margin and it collapses to just Gross Revenues and Total Costs
- Click the 3 and it expands all rows
- Click the 2 and it expands the Revenues and Costs section, but not the cost details
Dealing with border issues
- Notice cells B26 and B33 have borders top and bottom, but B19 only has a border on the bottom
- Click the 3 to expand all rows
- B19, B26 and B33 all have borders top and bottom!
- Select B26 and clear the border
- Select B25 and place a bottom border, then B27 and place a top border
- Clear borders from B33
- Select B32 and place a bottom border
- Select B33 and place a bottom border (we want a bottom border when B33 and B34 are showing
- Collapse to level 2 and notice the borders have gone away
- Borders just look like they’re between cells. They are actually on the tops and bottoms of specific cells which get hidden/shown when Outlining is used.
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