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13.1 Understanding Excel List Structure

Here’s the first concept there’s actually two that I want to bring in here and make you aware of as you work with in Excel with the LISTS.

Now inside the exercise pile that I have open, I’m looking at the employee records tab and on I have a simple little list.

Understanding Excel List Structure

You can see at the top of my list. First row I’ve got my column headers the identifiers of the data within this list. It serves two purposes.

1- They’re there for us as in users of this list. You, yourself and your coworkers and so on can make it more accessible. We can find the data.

We know that in column C I have first name and Column F I’ve got phone extension and column H I’ve got employee ID and so on.

They make the list more accessible for us the users of the list adding records is going to be much easier because we know what goes into this list. Finding data much easier because we know which column to look for and so on. It’s as simple as that.

They’re there to help us identify the data and make it more accessible.

2- The second reason we want the column headers and this deals with Excel. The tool itself excel by default once the letters and it looks in the very first row for your headers.

Now you might as well you know what if I didn’t have errors would excel still look in the very first row for headers.

When you start doing things like sorting and filtering and pivot tables and calculations anything that really deals with specific columns Excel will identify it by their column header.

For example, I want to sort by last name Excel says great, I know where last names out of those sort it Borja it identifies it by the column headers.

I want to do a pivot table. And I want to summarize I want to get a count of how many different departments we have. While Excel says yeah ok department I know where that’s at. Let’s go and go count those departments, There’re for you and are for Excel.

Make sure they’re the very first row on your list and you formatted them differently than the rest of the data in the list.

There’s the first concept here’s the second one of a well formatted properly designed list.

Make sure that your list does not have any empty rows in the list or columns.

For example, I come in years as row 17 and I delete that record.

Understanding Excel List Structure

I just hit my delete key on my keyboard. Now I’m up above that row.

Let’s imagine that that empty rows you know hundreds or thousands of records off the screen.

I’m up here at the top going along my merry way right now I’m sorting and filtering and I’m running pivot tables I’m you know doing all sorts of stuff to this list, I think all is right in the world. You know what all is not right in the world.

Look what happens. I have an empty row in this list.

Excel is going to interpret this as two separate lists because it’s no longer a contiguous list.

I’m up at the top and I mean to give you a shortcut key here. I’m going to select that entire list on my keyboard. I’m going to press Control + A, this will jump out and grab my data.

Understanding Excel List Structure

It didn’t grab the data down below the empty row. Make sure that you don’t have any empty rows any empty columns in your list.

This will assist excel in finding in your data the proper data all of the data. Just watch out for that.

So two things really simple:

+Make sure your list has headers at the top.

+They’re there for you there for yourself and make sure your list does not have any empty rows or empty columns so that Excel can find all of the data as simple as that.

Create a properly designed a well formatted list by adhering to these two concepts.

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