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Excel/Sorting multiple instances of serial numbers


Engine data
Engine data  
Hi Tom,
Using Excel 2010, I am sorting engine balancing test data that is linked by a serial number(about 1500 s/n's). The number of tests range from 1 to 6 times for any given serial number, depending on how well the engine balanced after each test. I need to eventually create 2 histograms showing the first test data and the final test data for each serial number. Is there a way to separate the data by serial number, whilst retaining the corresponding row(s) of data that accompany the serial number? Furthermore how can I extract the first and last row of data for each serial number into a manageable format. I am currently only interested in the rear data meeting spec. Any advise would be appreciated.




If you just select all the data and then sort on column A, all the serial number data will be together.  It is unclear how you determine what should be the first and last for a serial number.  Excel uses a persistent sort, so sorting by serial number will not change the order within a single serial number.  If a second column needs to be referenced to get the readings for a specific serial number in order, you can use a second key in your sort.  Say column B would be the second key and you could choose ascending or descending.

Once the data is sorted, you can make a copy of the sheet.  Then go to F3 and put in a formula like


then drag fill this down column F

now select column F and hit F5 key to get the goto dialog. Select the special button, then select Formulas and unselect everthing except error values and click OK.  Now you have column F cells selected for every row you want to remove.  on the home tab go to delete dropdown under the cells commandbutton and choose Delete Sheet rows.  then you can clear column F and you should have the the first and last row for each serial number.

Sorting is pretty straighforward in Excel, but that appears to be what you were asking me.  If I missed what you were asking, ask a followup question with what you actually need to know.

Tom Ogilvy

Tom Ogilvy

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Tom Ogilvy


Selected as an Excel MVP by Microsoft since 1999. Answering Excel questions in Allexperts since its inception in 2001. Able to answer questions on almost all aspects of Excel's internal capabilities. If seeking a VBA solution, please specify that in your question itself so I give you the answer you want. [Excel has weak protection - if you are distributing an application, I don't answer questions on how to protect your project from your users.]


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Master of Science (MS) degree Operations Research (ORSA)

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