How to filter your data in Apple Numbers on Mac

Most times, there’s more to the data you add in Numbers than just entering it. You may also want to analyze it. Whether it’s company sales, personal financials, or customer records, you can use filters to display only the data you want to see.

Numbers has features that let you apply a quick filter or set up filtering rules. Both of which are handy depending on the amount of data you have and the data you need. This tutorial shows you how to filter your data in Apple Numbers.

Filter your data in Numbers on Mac

Filter data in Numbers on Mac

Filters in Apple Numbers

The way that filters work in Numbers, whether using a Quick Filter or Filter Rule, is that you’ll choose the data you want to see from a column. This could be a number, dollar amount, date, text, or whatever type of data you have in your table. Then, the table will refresh to show you only rows containing that data. You can filter rows using the column or a cell within that column.

Once you apply a filter to a table, it only gives you a filtered view. It does not delete or remove the other data that you cannot see. So when you finish with a filter, you simply turn it off.

Now we’ll move on to using the filters available in Numbers, starting with the Quick Filter.

Use the Quick Filter

A Quick Filter in Numbers is one that gives you choices based on the data in your column. This is a great way to filter your data fast and with little effort.

Open your spreadsheet in Numbers and then follow these steps to use a Quick Filter.

1) Click a spot in your table so that you can see the column headers.

2) Select the arrow for the column containing the data you want to filter by.

3) Next to Quick Filter in the menu, you’ll see the data listed that is in that column. These are your choices for filtering the table. Click to select one or more.

Numbers Mac Quick Filter

You’ll then see your table update to display only the rows containing the data you picked for that column.

You can also adjust that filter to add more data if you like. Just click the column arrow again and check another option in the list.

Numbers Mac Quick Filters

To remove the Quick Filter, follow the same steps as above and deselect (uncheck) the data. Your table will go back to the way it was, with all data viewable.

Use a Filter Rule

If the Quick Filter options just aren’t enough, or you want to add multiple filters and rules to your table, you can create a Filter Rule.

Open the Filter Rule area

You have two ways to access the feature, which will display in your right-hand sidebar.

1) Click a spot in your table so that you can see the column headers.

2) Select the arrow for the column containing the data you want to filter by.

3) Choose Show Filter Options in the menu.


1) Click a spot in your table to select it.

2) Click the Organize button on the top right of the Numbers window.

3) Select the Filter tab.

Add a Filter Rule

In the sidebar, click the Add a Filter drop-down box which contains all of the columns in your table. Choose the column containing the data you want to filter by.

Numbers Mac Add a Filter Rule

Immediately upon selecting a column, the Choose a Filtering Rule pop-up window will display.

Depending on the data type you want to filter by, choose from Numbers, Text, Dates, Durations, or Blank. With each data type, you’ll see the various options for selecting the data.

Numbers Mac Choose a Filter Rule

Pick the filter you want to use, and then enter the additional details needed for it in the sidebar.

Numbers Mac Create a Filter Rule

You’ll notice after you create a filter, that you can add another rule by clicking the Add a Rule link beneath it. This lets you apply more than one rule to the same column.

In addition, you can create more than one filter. This lets you filter by more than one column at the same time.

Numbers Mac Create Two Filter Rules

If you do create more than one filter, you can use the drop-down box at the top of the sidebar and pick from Match All Filters or Match Any Filters, depending on how you want to filter the data.

Turn filters off and on

In the Organize sidebar, on the Filter tab, you’ll see a toggle at the top for Filters. This switch lets you quickly turn your filters off and on if needed.

Delete filters

If you want to remove any or all of the filters you set up, first make sure the Filter area of the sidebar is open.

Next, click the Trash Can next to the rule you want to remove, and it will be deleted.

Numbers Mac Delete a Filter Rule

Quick tips

If you use the Quick Filter as described above and then open the Organize > Filter sidebar, you’ll see that Quick Filter there. You can then use it to add another rule or create another filter. This gives you a handy jump-start for setting up filter rules.

You can also filter a table using the cell in the column containing the data you want to filter by. Choose the cell, right-click it, and select Filter Table by [“data”].

Numbers Mac Quick Cell Filter

If you’re new to Apple Numbers or just spreadsheet applications in general, it can be a little intimidating when it comes time to review or analyze your data. Hopefully, this tutorial showing you how to use the filters in Numbers will help!

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