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What Is A Slicer In Google Sheets & How to Add/Use One

Welcome to the exciting realm of Google Sheets, where slicers reign supreme. For those just hearing about this term for the first time, it will interest you to know that slicers are dynamic features that transform data filtering and manipulation into a breeze.

These interactive gems provide an intuitive way to refine your data views. In today’s Google Sheets tutorial, we will embark on a journey to master the art of using slicers in Google Sheets to supercharge your data analysis.

But before we delve any further, let’s quickly understand what a slicer in Google Sheets is and how it works. 

Understanding What Slicers Are And Why You Should Use Them 

Imagine having a supercharged version of the filter tool in Google Sheets – that’s what slicers are all about. They’re like the cool, new kid in town, bringing many exciting advantages to the table.

When you create a slicer, Google Sheets adds it as a snazzy button in your spreadsheet. That alone makes slicers way cooler and easier to use than those old-school filters.

Now, here’s where slicers really shine. They show you all the different headers in your data and let you pick and choose with just a simple click. No more digging through long lists of options in some hidden filter menu. 

Plus, here’s the real magic: Slicers also work their charm on charts. When you use a slicer to filter your data, your chart automatically updates to show only what you want. It’s like magic for your data visualizations.

But wait, there’s more. You can even give your slicer in Google Sheets a makeover. Change its size, play with fonts, or switch up the colors – you name it.

Slicers Vs Filters: How Do They Differ?

Both Slicers and Filters do the same job – they help you sort and refine your data based on specific values or conditions. However, filters require you to turn them on and off whenever you change your criteria.

But here lies the problem: Switching between views can be a bit cumbersome, especially when multiple people are using your sheets or when you’re dealing with several columns that need categorization. In such situations, Slicers come to the rescue.

Scenario/Use Case

Imagine owning a bustling ice cream parlor with many delicious flavors and toppings. Your goal is to keep track of your inventory and make it easier for your staff to find specific flavors and toppings quickly.

You start by creating a spreadsheet in Google Sheets to manage your ice cream inventory. You have columns for Flavor, Topping, Quantity, and Price. This spreadsheet has grown over time, and now you have hundreds of rows with various flavors and toppings.

At first, you use filters to sort through your inventory. Filters are like turning the lights on and off in different sections of your ice cream parlor. You activate filters to see specific flavors or toppings, but every time you want to switch to something else, you need to fumble with those switches. That sounds like a bit of work, right? 

Now, that’s where slicers come in. Think of slicers as magical pointers in your ice cream parlor. Instead of toggling switches, you have a slicer for Flavors and another for Toppings. With a simple click, you can select or deselect your preferred flavors or toppings, and your inventory instantly adjusts to show what you want.

But wait, there’s more. You decide to create a chart to visualize your ice cream sales. With slicers, when you filter your inventory for a specific flavor or topping, your chart updates automatically to show those selections. It’s like a dynamic billboard that displays what’s popular in your ice cream parlor.

You can even customize your slicers to match your parlor’s theme – adjust their size, fonts, or colors so they become not just practical but also stylish additions to your inventory management system.

Creating and Using A Slicer in Google Sheets: Practical Step-By-Step Guide

Alright, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into the fun part of our guide. We’ve given you a bit of background on slicers, and now it’s time to get practical. 

The good news? We’ve got your back every step of the way. Today’s mission is simple: We will teach you how to use and create slicers in Google Sheets. These nifty tools will make your data easy to understand without any stress.

In this guide, we will show you not one but two fantastic ways to use a slicer in Google Sheets. First, we’ll walk you through using a slicer with a data table, and then we’ll show you how to take it up a notch and use it with a chart.

For both examples, we will use the following sample data. 

Copy Example Sheet

To get a solid understanding of what a slicer in Google Sheets is and how it works, feel free to copy our sample data in the link below so you can follow along.

Copy Sample Data

If you have your own spreadsheet, you can simply follow the steps we will detail shortly.

Example 1: Use Slicer With Data Table

Now that we’ve set up our data, it’s time to have some fun with it. Remember earlier when we talked about using slicers? Well, we’re about to dive into our very first example, and it’s going to be a breeze.

Imagine you have a big scoop of ice cream data, just like the flavors in our ice cream parlor. 

For this example, we will show you how to use slicers with a data table, so let’s jump straight into the adventure. 

Step 1: Select the Range of Data

Let’s start by picking the data we want to work with in our sample sheet. Since we want to make sure we include all the data from our sample spreadsheet, we’re going to select the whole thing.

To do this, you can simply click and drag your mouse over all the data. It’s like highlighting a big chunk of text, but in this case, we’re highlighting all our data so we can use it to create a slicer.

Step 2: Adding the Slicer

Now that we’ve got our data all set and ready for some slicer action, let’s dive into the exciting part.

Here’s what you need to do: Go to the ‘Data’ menu, just like you’re exploring the menu at your favorite ice cream parlor. When you click on it, you’ll see a list of options. Find the one that says ‘Add a slicer’ and select it. 

If you’ve been following along with us step by step, Google Sheets should work its magic and put a slicer button right into your spreadsheet.

Now, let’s take a peek at what our spreadsheet looks like after doing everything we’ve talked about so far:

Step 3: Tweak Slicer Settings

Take a look at the picture above, and you’ll see that we’ve added the slicer button, but it’s not doing anything special yet. We’re going to change that right now. To make the slicer do its thing, we’ll head over to the far right of our spreadsheet, where we find the Slicer editor – that’s where the magic really starts.

Here’s the trick: We want to tell our slicer what to filter, kind of like picking your favorite ice cream flavor. 

To do that, click the little dropdown button under the ‘column’ option, then choose ‘flavor’ from the list of options. This is where the fun begins

After selecting the option for Flavor, the Slicer button in our spreadsheet should be automatically updated to show that exact selection. 

Here is what our slicer button now looks like: 

Step 4: Select the Flavors You Want to Filter

Once you’ve picked the ‘flavor’ column to filter, Google Sheets will be smart and update our slicer button to show that it’s all about flavors now. But wait, there’s more to this ice cream party.

Now, let’s choose a bunch of flavors to filter with our slicer. For this example, we’ll go with five delicious flavors.

Here’s how: Start by clicking the ‘All’ option on the slicer button, then scroll down and unselect the flavors you don’t want, leaving you with the fantastic five flavors you want to keep.

The video below will provide better insight if you’re confused about the step we just explained. 

Once we’ve chosen the five favorite flavors for the slicer to work its magic on, you’ll notice something cool – Google Sheets will make the spreadsheet change right before our eyes. It will show only the stuff we picked.

Here is what our spreadsheet now looks like: 

With everything we have covered so far, we are sure you now understand how a slicer in Google Sheets works. 

Add Multiple Slicers To Your Spreadsheet

Now, here’s where things get even more exciting. The beauty of the slicer option in Google Sheets is that you’re not limited to just one. You can actually add multiple slicers to your spreadsheet.

Imagine having a whole array of slicer buttons, each giving you the power to filter your data uniquely

Adding multiple slicers allows you to fine-tune your data analysis like a pro. You can filter by flavor, topping, or any other category you want. 

This level of control lets you explore your data from different angles, uncovering insights and trends you might have missed with just one slicer.

Here is how to add another slicer to your spreadsheet. Don’t worry, it’s pretty much the same as the steps we just detailed. 

Step 1: Highlight The Range Of Data

Let’s dive into the excitement of adding multiple slicers to your spreadsheet for ultimate control. Like before, we’ll pick the data we want for our slicer. Here’s how to do it:

  • Click and drag your mouse cursor over the data you want to work with.
  • You’ll notice the selected area becoming shaded or highlighted as you drag.
  • Release the mouse button once you’ve covered all the data you want.

Now, you’ve got your data highlighted and ready to go for the slicer magic.

Step 2: Add Slicer

Now that we’ve highlighted the data in our spreadsheet, let’s move to the menu bar at the top. Click on the ‘Data’ option, and you’ll see a list of choices appear. Among these choices, find and select the ‘Add a slicer’ option.

If you’ve been following along step by step, you’ll notice that your spreadsheet has been transformed, just like magic, to include the slicer we added.

Now, let’s check out how our spreadsheet looks after this slicer addition:

Step 3: Tweak Slicer Editor

Now that we’ve got our new slicer button in place, let’s give it a job, just like we did with the first slicer. 

Remember when we used the first slicer to filter our spreadsheet by flavor? We even picked out five tasty flavors to display. Well, now we will do something similar with our second slicer button.

But this time, we want to focus on the ‘Quantity’ column. Here’s how:

  • Go over to the Slicer editor on the far right of your spreadsheet – it’s where all the slicer magic happens.
  • Look for the option right under ‘column’ and select ‘Quantity.’

By doing this, you’re telling your slicer to work its filtering magic on the ‘Quantity’ data in your spreadsheet.

Once you’ve picked ‘Quantity’ from the options under the ‘column’ setting, your slicer will magically adjust to focus on that choice.

Take a peek at what our slicer looks like now:

Step 4: Test The Slicer

Having set up our new slicer just how we want it, let’s give it a spin to see if it works. Here’s how: Click on the ‘All’ option on the slicer button. Underneath that, you’ll see various Quantity options. 

To make our selection, all we need to do is unselect (or deselect) five different options, so we’re left with the five we want to keep.

After we do all that, we only need to click on the OK button for our changes to be effected.

The video below provides better insight into these steps. 

If you’ve been following along with our steps, your spreadsheet should now show the filter choices you set using your newly created slicer.

Here’s a peek at what ours looks like now:

Note: By now, you’ve mastered the art of adding and using multiple slicers in Google Sheets. It’s like having a superpower for your data.

As you’ve seen in our example, we now have two slicers at our disposal. One lets us filter by flavor, and the other lets us filter our data by quantity. It’s all about having options and making your data dance to your tune.

Customizing A Slicer In Google Sheets

Now that we’ve tested our slicer and it’s doing the job, we have a choice: we can keep it plain or give it a cool makeover to make it visually appealing. Let’s be honest, as it is right now, it’s not exactly eye-catching.

But don’t worry. In this section, we’ll teach you how to jazz up your slicer button to make it look awesome. The best part? It’s a breeze. So, keep reading as we walk you through the simple step-by-step process.

Step 1: Access Slicer Editor

To give our slicer a personal touch, let’s start by picking the slicer we want to customize. In this case, we’ll work on the first slicer we made, which is the flavor slicer.

Once you’ve chosen your slicer, head to the far right, where you’ll spot the slicer editor. Now, click on the menu, and from there, select ‘Customize.’ Let’s make that slicer uniquely yours.

Step 2: Customize Slicer

When you choose ‘customize,’ you’ll discover a world of possibilities for tweaking your slicer. You can play around with the font type, title font size, title format, text color, and even the background color.

For our example, let’s switch the font style from Roboto to Impact. To make this change, simply click on the tiny drop-down arrow next to ‘Roboto,’ and then pick ‘Impact’ from the options that appear.

Once you’ve followed the steps to change the font style, like we did above, you’ll notice that the font style of our slicer has been transformed to reflect our choice. 

Here is what it looks like: 

Looking at the screenshot above, you’ll notice that the font size is already good, so we won’t make any changes to that. It’s currently set at 14, which is just right.

However, let’s add a splash of color by changing our title text color from ‘Auto’ to ‘Red.’ To make this change, click the drop-down button next to ‘Auto.’ A color palette will appear. From the options, select the color Red.

With the changes effected, the font color of our slicer should now be updated to reflect our selection. Here, take a look at what our slicer looks like: 

Take a look at the screenshot above, and you’ll see how our slicer has already improved – and all we did was change the font style and text color. Now, let’s add more flair by adjusting the background color from black to a nice, light shade of green.

To make this change, it’s as easy as pie. Click the drop-down button next to ‘Auto’ under the ‘background color’ option. This will open up a color palette. Simply browse through the palette and pick a lighter shade of green to give your slicer that extra pop. 

After making the changes we mentioned earlier, our slicer now looks absolutely fantastic. Take a look at how it appears now:

Let’s be real: Doesn’t this slicer look way more awesome than when we first started with it?

Note: Keep in mind that we’ve demonstrated how to customize just one slicer. If you happen to have several slicers in your spreadsheet, don’t worry – you can simply repeat the same process we explained for each one.

Use Slicer With Chart In Google Sheets

In our previous example, we learned how to add, customize, and use slicers with a data table in Google Sheets. We saw how slicers can help us filter and visualize data effectively. Now, let’s take it up a notch and explore how slicers can work their magic with charts.

Imagine you’ve got sales data for your ice cream parlor over several months and want to see how different flavors perform over time. A chart is a great way to visualize this data, but it can get cluttered quickly. That’s where slicers come to the rescue. 

To demonstrate how slicers work with charts, we will use the same data set we used in our last example. 

With our data now sorted, let’s jump right into the practical aspect, demonstrating how to use a slicer with charts in Google Sheets

Step 1: Highlight Your Data

Before we create our chart, we need to highlight the data we intend to use for the chart. For this example, we need to highlight the entire data in our spreadsheet. 

Here is how to do it: Click and drag your mouse cursor over the data you want to use for your chart. As you drag, the selected area will become shaded or highlighted.

Finally, release the mouse button once you’ve covered all the data you want. Your data should be highlighted and ready for creating an awesome chart.

Step 2: Create Your Chart

After selecting the range of data you want to use to create your chart, it’s time to get to the interesting aspect – creating the chart. To do that, navigate to the Insert menu. From the option available, select the option for Chart. 

Once we select this option, Google Sheets will automatically insert a chart into your spreadsheet. Here is what it should look like: 

Take a good look at the screenshot above, and you’ll notice that Google Sheets has placed a Column chart into our spreadsheet. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a column chart, but for this example, let’s switch things up and turn it into a pie chart.

Here is how to do it: 

Navigate to the chart editor at the extreme right of your spreadsheet. From the Setup tab, change the chart type from Column to Pie chart. 

If you’ve followed our instructions step by step, your chart in the spreadsheet should have transformed into a Pie chart, just like magic.

Here’s what it should now look like:

Step 3: Add  A Slicer

Now that our Column chart has been transformed into a Pie chart like we wanted, it’s time to add a Slicer. 

To do that, click on the Pie Chart you just created. Once that is done, navigate to the Data menu and select the option for Add a slicer. 

If you did everything as we instructed you in the last step, a slicer button should be added to your spreadsheet. Here is what ours looks like: 

Step 4: Tweak Slicer Settings

Now that we’ve introduced a slicer into our spreadsheet, let’s give it a job. Here’s how:

Go to the far right of your spreadsheet, where you’ll find the Slicer editor. Click on the drop-down button next to ‘column.’ From the list that appears, choose ‘Flavor.’

Doing this tells your slicer to focus on the ‘Flavor’ data in your spreadsheet. 

Step 5: Test Slicer

After setting up our slicer exactly as we like it, let’s test it to see if it works like a charm. 

Start by clicking on the ‘All’ option on the slicer button. Below that, you’ll spot various ‘Flavor’ options. 

To make our selection, all we have to do is unselect (or deselect) five different options, leaving behind the five we want to keep.

Once we have done that, we just need to click the ‘OK’ button, and our changes will take effect. It’s as simple as that.

Our pie chart should be instantly updated once the changes we made have been effected. Here is what our chart now looks like after tweaking our Slicer: 

Now, you see how seamless it is to use a slicer with a chart in Google Sheets. That wasn’t too challenging, was it? 

Final Thoughts

In this guide, we’ve explored the world of slicers in Google Sheets, and it’s been quite a journey. 

We began by introducing you to what a slicer in Google Sheets is. 

We specifically mentioned that slicers are like magical buttons that help you filter your data with a simple click. Unlike traditional filters, slicers are intuitive and quite functional.

Our first example showed you how to add slicers to a data table. By using slicers for ‘Flavor’ and ‘Quantity,’ you learned how to filter data dynamically. 

We didn’t stop at functionality; we also showed you how to make slicers look amazing. You can customize them by changing font styles, text colors, and even background colors. 

In our second example, we explored how slicers can enhance your charting experience. By filtering your chart with slicers, you can quickly analyze specific data subsets. 

Throughout this guide, we provided clear and simple step-by-step instructions, making it easy for even beginners to use slicers in Google Sheets. 

In the end, slicers in Google Sheets are like the toppings on your data. You can add multiple slicers for ultimate control and slice and dice your data creatively.

We hope today’s guide has taught you everything you need to know about how to use a slicer in Google Sheets. 

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