How to Filter by Color Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Filtering by color in Excel is a quick way to organize and categorize data based on the cell or font color. Whether you’re managing a large dataset or just trying to get a handle on your monthly expenses, color-coding can be an effective visual aid. By applying a color filter, Excel will display only the cells that match the selected color, simplifying your view and allowing you to focus on specific information.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Filter by Color in Excel

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to note that filtering by color helps you quickly find and work with data that shares a specific attribute, which can be incredibly useful when dealing with large spreadsheets.

Step 1: Select your data range

Click and drag to highlight the cells you want to filter.

Selecting the range of cells you want to work with is the first step in applying a color filter. Make sure to include the header row if you have one, as this is where the filter options will be displayed.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Filter’ button

Go to the ‘Data’ tab and click on ‘Filter.’

Once you have your data selected, you need to turn on filtering. By clicking the ‘Filter’ button in the ‘Data’ tab, dropdown arrows will appear in the header cells, indicating that filtering is now enabled for each column.

Step 3: Open the filter menu

Click on the dropdown arrow in the header of the column with the color you want to filter by.

With filtering turned on, you can now access the filter menu for each column. Clicking the dropdown arrow will bring up a list of filtering options, including sorting by color.

Step 4: Choose ‘Filter by Color’

Hover over ‘Filter by Color’ and select the cell or font color you want to filter.

In the filter menu, you’ll see an option for ‘Filter by Color.’ Hovering over this will expand the menu, showing the colors present in the selected column. Click on the color you want to filter by, whether it’s the cell fill color or font color.

Step 5: Apply the filter

Click on your color choice to apply the filter.

After selecting the color, Excel will filter your data based on your choice. Only the rows with cells or text in the chosen color will be displayed, while the rest will be hidden from view.

After completing these steps, your Excel spreadsheet will only show the rows that include the color you filtered by, making it easier to work with specific subsets of data.

Tips: Enhancing Your Experience with Color Filters in Excel

  • Use distinctive colors to categorize your data, making it easier to filter and identify specific groups.
  • Remember you can filter by both cell color and font color, giving you two different ways to organize your information.
  • If you can’t find the color you want to filter by, double-check that you’ve selected the correct column and that the color is present in your data range.
  • You can apply multiple color filters across different columns to narrow down your data even further.
  • Don’t forget to clear your filters when you’re done! This will bring all your data back into view.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I clear a color filter in Excel?

Click on the filter dropdown and select ‘Clear Filter from [column name].’

Clearing a color filter is just as easy as applying one. In the filter menu, you’ll see an option to ‘Clear Filter from [column name].’ Clicking this will remove the color filter and show all your data again.

Can I filter by more than one color at a time?

Yes, you can apply multiple color filters in different columns.

If you need to filter by more than one color, you can apply different color filters to separate columns. However, you can’t filter by multiple colors within the same column at the same time.

Why is the ‘Filter by Color’ option not available?

Make sure you have cells with colored fonts or backgrounds, and that filtering is enabled.

If ‘Filter by Color’ is grayed out or not available, it could be because there are no colored cells in the selected range or you haven’t enabled filtering. Double-check both of these things and try again.

Can I use color filters for conditional formatting?

Yes, color filters work with cells colored through conditional formatting.

Cells that have been colored using conditional formatting are treated the same as manually colored cells when it comes to filtering. You can filter by these colors just as easily.

What if the color I want to filter by isn’t listed?

Ensure all cells with that color are within your selected data range.

If the color you’re looking for isn’t showing up, it might not be within the range of cells you’ve selected. Expand your selection to include all cells with the color you want to filter by.


  1. Select your data range.
  2. Click on the ‘Filter’ button.
  3. Open the filter menu.
  4. Choose ‘Filter by Color.’
  5. Apply the filter.


Filtering by color in Excel is a fantastic way to bring focus to particular segments of your data. Whether it’s financial records, project timelines, or inventory lists, color coding paired with filtering can streamline your workflow and make data analysis significantly less daunting. Remember, the key is to use color strategically, so that when you do apply a filter, the information you need pops out at you. If you’ve followed the steps outlined above, you should now be able to filter by color excel with ease. Keep experimenting with this tool to discover how it can best serve your needs. And don’t be afraid to play around with different colors and filters to find what works best for you. Happy filtering!

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