Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Command Performance: Get Smart Categories

For someone who makes their living writing words, I spend a surprising amount of time in spreadsheets. Sometimes that’s because it’s the best way to organize information (my nerdy quiz show Inconceivable! has long been managed in a massive Google Spreadsheet, outstripped only by the Clockwise guest spreadsheet, which is only a few episodes away from gaining sentience and attempting to absorb the world).

But sometimes I’m using spreadsheets because I’m—gasp!—actually working with numbers. Specifically, I’m working with Numbers. Not because I have anything against Microsoft Excel1, but because Numbers is just the right speed for a word monkey like me, with its lovely charts, pretty colors, and easy to understand features.

Smart Categories Numbers
Numbers’s Smart Categories feature makes it easy to view your data a different way, without destroying it.

One of my favorite features in Numbers, though, is a relatively recent addition: the Smart Categories feature that arrived in September 2018’s Numbers 5.2.…

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