Excel: Group Columns Instead of Hiding Them

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Problem: I have a report with months and quarters. My manager sometimes wants the reports printed with months hidden and other times with the months showing. It is a pain to hide/unhide the four groups of monthly columns.

Strategy: You can group the columns instead of hiding and unhiding them. Follow these steps:

  1. Unhide all the columns.
  2. Select the headings Jan, Feb, and Mar. Select Data, Group, Columns. Excel adds a group and outline symbol above the column headings.
  3. Repeat step 2 for Apr, May, Jun; Jul, Aug, Sep; and Oct, Nov, Dec.

Excel will draw in Group & Outline buttons above the spreadsheet.

  1. Excel adds group and outline icons like with subtotals.

    You can click the 1 Group & Outline button to collapse to quarters. Click the 2 to show months.

  2. The 1 and 2 Group & Outline buttons toggle between views.

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