Use filter views in the new Google Sheets

In Google Sheets, filtering your data makes it easier for you to view and analyze data by letting you hide data that you want to temporarily take out of view. The new Google Sheets introduces filter views as well, which allow you to create, name, and save filters that you can use without disrupting how others are viewing your spreadsheet.

Creating a filter view

When you create a filter view, it’s like saving a filter that you can use over and over again.

  1. Open the spreadsheet where you would like to create a filter view.
  2. Click the Data menu, hover over “Filter views…” and select Create a new filter view. You can also click the down arrow to the right of the filter icon and select Create a new filter view.
  3. Using the down arrows in the column headers, sort and filter the data to fit your desired view. Your filter view will be saved as you make changes.
  4. To close your new filter view, either click the X in the top-right corner of the spreadsheet or click the down arrow to the right of the filter icon and select None.
To delete or duplicate a filter view, click the gear icon in the top right corner of the filter view and choose Delete or Duplicate.

Renaming a filter view

  1. Open the filter view you want to rename.
  2. Click the current name in the black bar of the filter view.
  3. Delete the text and type in the new name.
  4. Press Enter.

Applying an existing filter view

  1. Open the spreadsheet that you would like to filter.
  2. Click the Data menu, hover over “Filter views…” and select the name of the filter view you want to use. You can also click the down arrow to the right of the filter icon and select the filter view.
  3. Your filter will now be applied to the spreadsheet. To turn off the filter view, either click the X in the top-right corner of the spreadsheet or click the down arrow to the right of the filter icon and select None.

Saving a filter as a filter view

You can also save a filter that you create as a filter view to access at a later time.

  1. Apply a filter for your selected range of cells.
  2. Click the Data menu, hover over “Filter views…”, and select Save as filter view. Alternately, you can click the dropdown menu next to the filter icon and select Save as filter view.
  3. Your filter is now saved. The filter view is signified by dark grey highlighting your column and row headers, as well as a line above the column headers with the name and range of your filter.

Filters vs. Filter Views

Both filters and filter views serve the purpose of narrowing down the view of a spreadsheet to analyze specific data. However, filter views are more useful in certain circumstances.

  • While you can only save one filter, you can save multiple filter views to return to and share with others viewing your spreadsheet. You can also name a filter view, but not a filter.
  • Adding a filter will change the view for anyone viewing the spreadsheet, while filter views need to be explicitly turned on by each person. Each person in a spreadsheet could be viewing a different filter view at the same time.
  • Filters can’t be duplicated or copied, while filter views can be duplicated to quickly create another view with similar rules. Note that, while you can import and export filters, filter views are unique to Google Sheets and can’t be imported or exported.
  • When sorting data in filters, the underlying data is sorted so if you turn off the filter, the data stays sorted. Turning off filter views changes the data back to its original order.

Basic filters are most useful if you want to force everyone viewing your spreadsheet to see a specific filter when they open it, and while viewing and editing. In addition, if you want your data to continue to be sorted after using the filter, you may also want to use filters instead of filter views.