Save Space With Excel On Demand Slicers

In one of my sample files, you can use Slicers to select criteria for an advanced filter. There are 3 Slicers at the top of the sheet, and an output range below that.  And now, AlexJ has created a compact version of that technique, with Excel on demand Slicers — they’re hidden until you need them. (He’s on a mission to rid the world of space-hogging Slicers.)

Original Advanced Filter with Slicers

Here’s a screen shot of my original worksheet. Select one criterion from each Slicer, or clear a Slicer, then click a button to run the Advanced Filter.  The matching data is shown in the output area.

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One thing that you might not notice right away  — the headings in the output range are drop down lists, so you can choose any fields that you want from the source data.

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Excel On Demand Slicers

In my original file, the Slicers were pretty small, because each field only had 2 or 4 items. In a real-life setting, your data fields probably have many more items than that.

That’s what inspired AlexJ to create an “On Demand Slicers” version for this technique – he needed several Slicers, and each one had many items. There wasn’t room on the worksheet for all of the Slicers, so AlexJ added a bit of code, to make the Slicers appear when needed.

See the Slicers Appear

This animated screen shot shows how to make the Slicers appear, by clicking one of the pivot table filter fields. The selected field is highlighted too, to make it stand out on the worksheet. Then, click a different field, to see its Slicer.

advfiltslicerdemo_alexj

How the Slicers Appear

You might have seen AlexJ’s Pop Up Slicers workbook, a couple of weeks ago – it had one Slicer, grouped with macro buttons. This week’s technique is simpler to set up, but has the same result – the Slicers only appear when you need them.

When you click on a pivot table filter field, the on demand Slicer for that field appears.

Excel On Demand Slicers http://blog.contextures.com/

There is code that runs when you select a cell on the worksheet.

  • If the selected cell is in a pivot table (like the pivot table filters here), the code gets the name of the pivot field.
  • Then, a macro checks the shapes on the worksheet, to see if any have that pivot field name (all the Slicers are named with a “k_” prefix, and the pivot field name)
  • If a matching Slicer is found, it is made visible.

Hidden Admin Section

There is a hidden Admin section on the worksheet too. Click the Outline buttons to show that section, if you want to adjust the Slicers.

There are two buttons to help you manage the Slicer setup:

  • Click the Show All button, to make all the Slicers visible. In this screen shot, they are stacked up in column C
  • Click the Position All button, to align all the Slicers with the top left corner of the active Slicer

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Vote for On Demand Slicers

Instead of using macros to show and hide Excel Slicers, AlexJ would like to have On Demand Slicers as a built-in feature.

He posted a request on Excel UserVoice, and you can click this link to read about it, and cast your vote: Make slicers visible “On Demand”

Get the On Demand Slicers Workbook

To see how the Slicers work, go to the AlexJ Sample Files page on my Contextures website. In the Filters & Slicers section, look for FL0004 — Excel On Demand Slicers, and click the link to download the file.

The zipped file is in xlsm format, and contains macros. There are notes in the workbook, that explain the file setup, and how the code works.

Excel On Demand Slicers http://blog.contextures.com/

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