Group Therapy

How to apply groups without using subtotals in Microsoft Excel.


Q: Can I apply groups without using subtotals?

A: Just select columns or rows to be grouped and select Data, Group. It is fairly tedious to add many groupings, but this can be easier than continually hiding and unhiding rows or columns.

Select the entire column for Jan, Feb, and Mar (Figure 1) and click the Group icon on the Data tab. Excel will group those three columns and assume the next column is the summary of those columns.

Repeat this to group April, May, and June into Q2; July, August, September into Q3; and October, November, and December into Q4. The result is that you can quickly toggle from monthly to quarterly views by using the 1 or 2 buttons.

If you would like to submit a question to Bill “MrExcel” Jelen, e-mail him at


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