Defining Table Categories and Subcategories
You can have Numbers create categories or subcategories based on values in one or
more columns in the table. Or you can assemble rows into categories by manually
inserting category rows between table rows. You can create categories based on
adjacent or nonadjacent selected table rows.
Creating categories manually
When you create categories by manually inserting a category row, a new column
(the category value column) is added to the table to display unique placeholder
values for each category. The placeholder value is used in the category row to identify
You may want to hide the column (click its reference tab’s pop-up menu and
choose Hide Column). To change the placeholder name in a category row to a more
meaningful name, edit the name as you would text in any cell.
Double-click to type
a new category name.
Creating categories using values in a column
When you categorize a table using the values in a column, Numbers creates a different
category for each unique value in the column. The column whose value you use to
create categories is the category value column. All rows containing the same value in
the category value column are placed together in a category. The shared value is used
as the category name in the category row.
Category value column
If you change a value in the category value column, the row moves into a different
category if the value exists elsewhere in the category value column; otherwise, a new
category is created for the new value.
You can optionally hide a category value column, but you may want to leave the
column visible in case you need to change values in it. Also, you may not want to edit
the name in the category row. When you change a category row’s name, all the values
in the category value column for the category are replaced with the new name,
overwriting other values in the cells.
Here are ways to create categories and subcategories:
To divide a table’s rows at a particular place, choose Insert Category from the reference
tab pop-up menu for the bottommost row in the category you want to create. For
example, to divide a 9-row table into two categories with the first 5 rows in the first
category, choose Insert Category from the pop-up menu for row 5.
To place a range of adjacent or nonadjacent rows into a category, select the rows and
then choose “Create Category from Selected Rows” from the reference tab’s pop-up
menu for one of the selected rows.
To categorize rows with the same value in a particular column, choose “Categorize by
This Column” from the reference tab pop-up menu for the column. When a value in the
column changes, its row is placed in a different category based on its new cell value.
You can also use the Reorganize window. Click in the table and then click Reorganize
in the toolbar or choose Show More Options from a reference tab’s pop-up menu to
open the Reorganize window. Click the Categories disclosure triangle to reveal the
categorizing controls. From the first pop-up menu, choose the name of the column
you want to use as a category value column.
Choose the name of the column
you want to use as a category
Table categories are created based on unique values in the chosen column.
Category value column
If the category value column contains dates, you can choose a date unit from the
second pop-up menu.
Category column that contains
Choose a date unit.
The date unit you select controls how the rows are categorized as well as how the
category is identified in the category row.
display years because
“years” was selected in the
To create a subcategory, open the Reorganize window, and click the Add (+) button
adjacent to the category or subcategory below which you want the new subcategory.
Then choose the column whose values you want to use for the subcategory.
Click to add subcategory.
Each subcategory has its own category row in the table.
To add a category or subcategory above or below an existing category or subcategory,
in the cell reference pop-up menu for the category or subcategory, choose Add
Category Above or Add Category Below.
If you delete a value from a category value column, its row is placed into a category
with blank values in the column.
If you delete all rows from a category, the category is removed from the table.