How to make collapsible sections in Excel

You can watch a video tutorial here.

When you have a large amount of data that runs into many rows and columns, you can group either the columns or rows so that the data becomes more manageable. The groups can be made into collapsible sections that can be expanded and collapsed at will. This is useful when you have sub-totals within the sheet and would like to collapse the cells so that only the sub-totals are displayed. The method shown below is for rows and can be used for columns as well.

Option 1 – Group each section individually

Step 1 – Select the cells

  • Select the cells to be collapsed

Step 2 – Open the Group box

  • Go to Data > Outline
  • Select Group from the Group dropdown

Step 3 – Choose the cells to collapse

  • In the pop-up, select Rows
  • Click OK

Step 4 – Collapse the cells

  • Click on the minus sign (-) shown at the bottom of the group indicator

Step 5 – Check the result

  • The selected cells will be collapsed
  • Click on the plus sign (+) to expand the rows

Step 6 – Create more sections

  • Repeat Steps 1 to 5 to create more collapsible sections

Option 2 – Use Auto Outline

Step 1 – Select the entire sheet

  • Select the entire sheet by clicking in the top left corner

Step 2 – Choose Auto Outline

  • Go to Data > Outline
  • Expand the Group menu
  • Choose Auto Outline

Step 3 – Check the result

  • The entire sheet is grouped according to the ‘Sub-total’ rows

Note: This feature will work only if there are discernible sections in the data – in this case, the sub-totals