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July 5, 2007

AutoFilter for Google Spreadsheets

Spreadsheet applications have a feature that lets you filter the data from a sheet. AutoFilter displays only the rows that meet a criteria that you specify and hides the rest of the rows.

Google Spreadsheets doesn't have AutoFilter yet, but a Google intern built one using the API. You can view your own spreadsheets, but you must make them public before.

Besides restricting the rows to the ones that contain specific values, you can create custom filters by defining your own boolean expressions. It even works with natural language expressions like "value is 5 or value is greater than 10" or regular expressions like 12/*/2007 (any date from December 2007).

"The API gave me access to practically all my spreadsheet data, so I had the flexibility to do whatever I had in mind. Within a few hours, I had a pretty powerful little application that could filter using easy dropdowns on each column. But I wasn't done -- I wanted more control over filtering. I added an expression parser that understands fuzzy filters -- things like contains North or New -- just as well as it understands more precise (but intimidating) traditional expressions," explains Alex Komoroske, the author of the app.


  1. That is an excellent update.

    Additionally I am long waiting for custom formats in cells. Say I want to custom format a date or time, just like I have used to in Excel.

  2. Well done that intern. Hire them, Google!

  3. Excellent! Brilliant! Useful!

    Now, if you could add a sort function too, that would be "more excellent"!

  4. This implementation is only good for read-only viewing, and you must make the spreadsheet public, which is not possible in many cases, due to the nature of the content. But this is the exact feature needed in the "real" Google docs.

  5. I second the motion for going public with the autofilter feature.

    A google fan!

  6. my company completely runs its IT in the cloud - not a single on premise server, we completely rely on google apps for docs, spreadsheet, preso ...etc. we use paid version of google apps.

    as you can see this post came out in Jul 07, almost year and half later we still don't have this functionality.

    auto filter is much needed functionality - a must !!

    please implement it ASAP

    thank you !!

  7. Hi,

    Good work.

    Comments : any chnace to get a selection of the column one want to filer on? (in table, there is not alwasy the need to have all column to be filtered?

    Any chance to have a way to concatenate some columns in order to get less column display ion the result ?


  8. Is it possible to add a “sort A-Z, Z-A” custom filter to this otherwise VERY useful API spreadsheet filter application?

  9. I am sorry but it is now almost 2010. Why is this very basic feature not standard part of google spreadsheets. Google spreadsheets is useless without this. Back to Microsoft Excel.

  10. I'm also very disappointed, this is a very useful feature and I'm thinking of using other spreadsheet solutions (excel or Open Office) but would have prefer using googles one's.

  11. This is available, but its not as simple as Excel....


    Finally AutoFilter for Google Spreadsheets is done.