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iWork Tutorial: Use the Categories function in Numbers

Organising a large list of data can be difficult. Numbers’ Categories feature is designed to offer you a flexible option to do just that

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The primary function of spreadsheets is to organise and display information to help others and yourself understand what all the data you’ve accumulated means.
There are many ways you can achieve this, but Numbers ’09’s Categories feature is a great way to sort rows on your spreadsheet. This method acts a little like the Reorganise tool, whereby you can order the information alphabetically depending on what’s displayed in a specific column.
The advantage of categories is that it makes it easier to see groups containing similar data. You can also collapse categories to hide them from view while you focus on other parts of your table. You can further refine your organisation by creating sub-categories. It’s just as easy to promote or demote a category or sub-category, as well as to remove a selected one from your spreadsheet. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to categorise data in one of your spreadsheets to make the information contained within easier to understand.

1: Categorising by a Column
Click on your table to select it and reveal its labels. Mouse over the label of the column you wish to categorise to reveal a small black triangle to its right. Select it and choose Categorise by this Column.

2: The effects of categorisation
The table is reordered alphabetically. Also, new rows have been created and named after the data they’re categorising. This makes it easier to see the various groups which have been sorted based on the column’s data.

3: Sub-categories
To create a sub-category, mouse over another column’s label and select Categorise by this Column, just like in Step 1. The data in that column will be reordered, while still remaining linked to the first Category.

4: Deleting categories
Go back to the column from Step 1 and click on its menu. Categorise by this Column has been replaced by Delete Categories. Click on it. This will remove it and the sub-category will now become the main one.

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