For a simple database, Excel can do a pretty good job of organizing and reporting your data. This example shows a movie collection database, but you could set up something similar to keep track of books, sales orders, or almost anything else.
In this database you can store movie data, then create a list of movies for a specific category or actor.
The Data Entry Sheet
On the data entry sheet, named Movies List, there’s a table with seven columns.
A unique ID number is entered for each movie, then the title, and other information about the movie.
The database was named MovieList, using a dynamic range. In Excel 2007 you could use an Excel Table instead, and in Excel 2003 you could use an Excel List.
The Movie Selector Sheet
On the report sheet, named Select Movies, there are two drop down lists – one for Category and one for Actor. Select from either of those, and code automatically runs, to filter a list of movies that match your selection.
The yellow cells are named (SelCat and SelActor), and the block of green cells is a range named ExtractMovies.
To see the code, right-click the Select Movies sheet tab, and click View Code.
The Criteria Sheet
The code runs an Advanced Filter, just as you could do manually. There’s a criteria area for each type of filter, stored on the CriteriaSel sheet. If you select a Category from the drop down list, the Category criteria range is used for the Advanced Filter. If you select an actor, the Actor criteria range is used.
The Lists Sheet
The final sheet in the workbook stores the lists that are used in the yellow drop down cells. These are pivot tables, based on the MovieList database. The pivot tables are automatically refreshed when the workbook opens, and when you deactivate the data entry sheet.
Use the Database
To use the database, enter movie information on the Movies List sheet. Then, select a category or actor, and a report is created on Select Movies sheet, with all the movies that meet the selected criteria.
The criteria sheet and Lists sheet are automatically updated, so no changes need to be made to those sheets.
Download the Sample File
To see the code and test the sample file, you can download the Excel movies database file. It’s in Excel 2003 format, and zipped. The file contains macros, so you’ll have to enable those to make the file work.