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A guide to conduct basic work in Microsoft Lists


Microsoft Lists

Microsoft Lists looks like spreadsheets with rows and columns, and provides interface support for conducting many data analysis and management tasks. It runs on the cloud so it can be accessed via Internet. It belongs to one type of database tool named as Spreadsheet Database. Other popular ones include Airtable, Google Tables etc. More about Spreadsheet Database can be read here

Like many Microsoft products, it can be directly open in the browser and it also has a desktop version. 

Grid View

After the selected list file is loaded, by default, the page is in view only mode, which means, no edits can be applied. To edit the list content, click "Edit in grid view" on the top of the page as shown below. 


The tabs starting from the left side are different views of the same database. It provides an individual working environment to focus on one set of the data in the database. 

Shown below in the screenshot: 

1, the funnel icon opens up filters pane; 

2. the plus sign adds new views and the view can be set as "Public" or not; In other words, users can set up highly individualized environment for their own work without sharing it with other users; 

3. List and Compact List display more data on the screen than "Autofit height" choice; 

4. Edit current view opens up another window where users can adjust the column order and many features. A lot can be adjusted there; 

5. The book icon opens up a pane to allow users to group data by different columns


Click the down arrow icon near each columns' name, can open up more buttons. 

As shown below: 

1. this group can be used to sort the data by alphabet; 

2. Filter by, as the name indicates, it allows users to filter the data using the values in the selected column; 

3. Group by [name of the column], this button groups the views by the values of this selected column; 

4. Pin to filters pan: this allows to add columns that are the frequently used for filtering data to the filters pane

Filters Pane

Click the funnel icon (1) opens up the Filters Pane on the right.  As shown below; the three dots next to the pin icon opens up the drawdown list where users can remove infrequent used or default columns for filtering. 


Groups Pane

Click the book icon (1) opens up the Groups Pane on the right. Grouping can be done via clicking the arrow down next to each column name. After choosing the column that groups the data, the name of the column will show at the top of the groups pane (2) and more grouping criteria can be added in this pane. Users can also click the "x" in front of the column name to ungroup the data. The arrow on the very left corner can be clicked to expand and collapse the groups. 

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