Too much data to view? Use Auto Outline to group it

Pets Picture

Puget Sound Pets can’t keep enough dog chews on the shelves for all the Corgies they sell (or rodents for the pet Pythons). And they can’t keep up with the sales data they generate from their booming business. To better understand their revenue stream, they need to view it on a month-to-month and store-to-store basis.

Excel’s Auto Outline feature offers a simple way for them to do that by letting them group–limit or expand–the types of data they can view.

To help you learn how to work with the Auto Outline feature, we’ve created a sample (fictional) workbook, which presents data for pet supplies on a per-month and per-store basis.


1.  The pet-shop purveyor can go to the Data tab, select the Group button and click the Auto Outline option.



2. Now they will see outline brackets on the spreadsheet. By clicking the plus or minus icons, they can expand and collapse their sales data to more easily view more information.




3. If they want to restore the spreadsheet to its original state so they can once again see all the sales for their exploding business, they just return to the Data tab, click on the Ungroup button and select Clear Outline.




Purr! Woof! Smile!

The owners of the skyrocketing kibbles corporation can now easily see how much money each of their stores are generating month-to-month, and get a better sense of the most popular purchases. Pythons and Corn Snakes seem to be enormously popular in Downtown Seattle-who would’ve thought?!