I have a worksheet with a column, user_ID, that contains a large number of user IDs

I'd like to filter it down to about a dozen IDs, but using Filter -> Custom Filter only allows me to filter by 2 IDs total.

Is there a better way to filter this column by this dozen or so IDs?

  • custom sort or custom filter? If you go to filter - filter you can specify all the values with checkboxes Jul 23, 2013 at 23:37
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    I believe that the sentence only allows me to filter by 2 IDs total isn't clear at all. Can you please describe this better? Can you upload a photo maybe?
    – Math
    Jul 24, 2013 at 1:34

4 Answers 4


Filter -> Custom Filter only allows me to filter by 2 IDs total.

Excel's Advanced Filter can filter for as many values as you want

enter image description here

  1. Set up your criteria range. The header must be named exactly like the column where Excel should apply your filter to (data table in example)
  2. Select your whole table (A1:A11 in example)
  3. Go to: Menu Bar » Data » Filter » Advanced
  4. Select your whole criteria range including the header under Criteria range (C1:C4 in example)

enter image description here enter image description here

  • 1
    awesome, this worked. "advanced filter" in excel 2010.
    – fox
    Jul 24, 2013 at 20:14
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    To exclude things, I had to populate the data table with =if(not([condition I want to exclude]),value from cell, ""). Basically allowing every value except the ones I wanted to exclude.
    – Noumenon
    Sep 7, 2017 at 20:28
  • how do i filter out any value with numbers, so that only the alphabetical values remain?
    – oldboy
    Jul 20, 2019 at 8:12

I discovered that if you want to do an advanced filter on "contains text", you can put a wildcard (*) at the beginning and end of the criteria text. This allows a bit of a fuzzier match. For example *Bob Smith* in C2 above could pull "Bob Smith" OR "Mr. Bob Smith" out of column A, if it existed there.

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    This should be a comment to the above solution by @nixda. Very useful. Thanks
    – shreyansp
    Feb 6, 2017 at 12:26

I duplicated the column I was filtering by and that gave me 4 arguments to use, 2 for each column.


For multiple "Contains" conditions its easier to create a second column with the particular values you're after. Make sure the 2nd column has the same Column Header as the 1st column that you plan to filter.

  1. Select the column you want to filter (column B)
  2. Click Data Menu > click Advanced Filter
  3. Click Criteria Range
  4. Select the 2nd columns particular values (Column G)
  5. OK

eg: Filter my purchases by Tax Deductibles.

enter image description here

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