By Neale Blackwood
If you use the Group feature frequently in your sheets, then consider using the Auto Outline feature. This automatically adds the Grouping buttons based on the SUM and SUBTOTAL formulas in your sheet.
Its effectiveness depends on the structure of your report. The better structured the report the more likely the Auto Outline will give you exactly the Grouping that you require.
To see how this works open a blank sheet. Enter a number in A1 and another number in A2. In A3 put a SUM function adding the numbers above. Enter a number in B1 and then put a SUM function in C1 to add the numbers to the left. Select cell A1.
In Excel 2003 click the Data menu, click Group and Outline and then Auto Outline.
In Excel 2007 click the Data Ribbon, click the Group button drop down on the left hand side of the Ribbon and select Auto Outline.
Excel assumes that you want to match the grouping to the SUM functions. It also recognizes SUBTOTAL functions in the same way.
To remove the AutoOuline. In Excel 2003 click the Data menu, click Group and Outline and then Clear Outline. In Excel 2007 click the Data Ribbon, click the Ungroup button drop down on the left hand side of the Ribbon and select Clear Outline.