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macOS: How to use smart categories in numbers

A recent update to Numbers, Apple's spreadsheet program, brought us the so-called smart category feature, which lets you view, organize and track your data on new (and useful!) Ways. Here's an example of what I mean: Let's say I created this spreadsheet. I mean, I did, so let's say that.

Now I did absolutely no research for this, so for all I know, a goldfish may not even be a fish. Not important. What is is important that I can now use the "Organize" button on the Numbers toolbar to break down these data by category.

  Organize Button in Toolbar

Once you've clicked "Organize," Look for the "Categories" category as shown above. Below is the ability to add a category from the drop-down menu that you want, so click to find the names of the columns you've entered and you can select any of them to sort by. [19659005] With this tip, I have chosen "Kind", and as you can see, Numbers broke my information of the metric:

The bears are clumsy, rodent and so on, each with their own category heading. After you've done this, you can also return to the category "Categories" and add more groups:

  Add Additional Categories

So if I wanted to group my animals first by type and then by color, and then whether or not they would attack me, I could do it!

Finally, there are two other very important things to know. First, if you return to this Organize> Categories section at any time, you can switch the "Categories" button at the top to see your original ungrouped table. And you can also click on an empty cell next to the category name to reveal a gear icon …

 Spreadsheet gear icon

… that gives you a drop-down menu with Add a subtotal, for example, of the categories in the adjacent cells:

 Add Subtotal to Blank Cell

 Subtotal Added to Cell


If you need more information, check out Apple's rather comprehensive support article about the subject. And yes, I realize my other table is quite boring and quite strange. Hi, I was tired after thinking about all these animal facts.

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