Database Guide: FactSet: Screening and Excel

Downloading to Excel

Run reports directly in Excel using historical wizard FactSet Sidebar.

Confirm that FactSet Excel Add-In is enabled and the FactSet tab is displayed on Excel top access toolbar.
To download FactSet Add-In in Excel, select: File > Options > Add-Ins > FactSet Office COM Add-In. (For any problems with installation, contact GSB Library)

  1. Login to FactSet; open Excel.
  2. Click FactSet tab on top bar.
  3. Click Insert Formula icon or Show Hide Sidebar icon on top icon bar. This will open the wizard, FactSet Sidebar. By default, the FactSet Sidebar opens on Insert tab.
  4. In Identifier field of FactSet Sidebar, select securities by either or a combination of the following methods:
    • Use Search box to find identifiers one by one by name, ticker, or other identifier symbol.
    • Click the Identifier Lookup icon to select individual identifiers or by selecting a custom identifier list saved in FactSet Personal folder.(See How to Create a Custom List of Identifiers section of this guide under Finding Identifiers tab.)
    • Click the icon to select identifiers from Excel file by cell reference
  5. In the Data Item section of FactSet Sidebar, search for data items, one at a time, using a keyword search or by browsing data categories. For explanation of data content, click the data item and then click Definition.
  6. In the Inputs section of FactSet Sidebar, refine your selection by available parameters, such as time period, reporting basis, frequency, etc. Each data item has its own set of pertaining parameters. NOTE: As you select a data item and its values, you get a preview of results. The preview helps to see data availability and layout format.
  7. Place cursor in the cell where the report should start.
  8. On Insert bar, open the drop-down list to specify display format by choosing from the following options: Orientation (horizontal or vertical), Dates, Company Names, Item Descriptions. (FactSet remembers your latest selection - may skip this step if no changes needed.)
  9. Click Insert.
  10. Repeat steps 5-9 for other data items for the same set of identifiers.

View FactSet Basic Search in Excel Add-In video tutorial

More Selected Functions in Excel

Identifier Lookup – use to upload custom portfolios from Personal folder or to create a list of identifiers directly in Excel.

Filing Wizard – use to download individual sections of company's filings or the whole documents directly in Excel.

Quick Report or Template Library – use to create reports from pre-loaded templates for identifiers in different financial categories.

ActiveGraph – use to build custom charts from scratch or by using charts' templates.

Launch FactSet – use to launch FactSet after opening Excel.

Support Resources

Click Help icon dropdown and select a help topic from the list.

Screening: Corporate Governance

Screen companies by corporate governance and shareholder activity criteria, such as corporate takeover defense strategies (poison pill), shareholders proxy proposals, proxy fights and other shareholders activism actions.
NOTE: The dataset covers close to 5,000 publicly traded companies included in the major equity indexes. Companies that have been acquired, merged, etc. are excluded from the dataset.

Create custom sets of companies based on corporate governance actions:

  1. Select Screening tab > Universal Screening sub-tab.
  2. Select Activism/Governance at the top.
  3. Choose the initial screening wizards: Starter Screen – Corporate Governance ♦ Starter Screen – Campaign ♦ Starter Screen – Proxy. Or select the available prescreened reports.
  4. In Starter wizards, add search criteria in the respective wizard.

Corporate Governance – add applicable criteria from the four categories:
• Company (choose from general company features, equity index)
• Governance (choose criteria pertaining to bullet proof ratings, charter/bylaw, defense changes, etc.)
• Poison Pill (select current position, pill statuses, adoption dates, etc.)
• Identifier List (select your saved custom portfolio)

Campaign – add applicable criteria from the five categories:
• Campaign Summary (choose general campaign characteristics such as status, objective, dates, etc.)
• Campaign Details (choose type of activist tactics, demands, etc.)
• Equity (choose from general company features, equity index)
• Activist (select holder type and threat level, e.g. if included in SharkWatch50)
• Proxy (choose specific proxy fight winners, meeting dates, etc.; also define Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (ISS) and Glass Lewis support)
• Identifier List (select your saved custom portfolio)

Proxy – add applicable criteria from the three categories:
• Proposal (choose from basic proposal characteristics such as result, category, and meeting dates)
• Equity (choose from general company features, equity index)
• Identifier List (select your saved custom portfolio)

  1. As you add criteria, results in the lower part of the window are updated dynamically.
    Use available tools to customize your resulting table if needed:

To add a new column:

  1. Select the tab at top, such as Board Details, Financials etc.
  2. Click the Browse for Formula icon above the table on right.
  3. In the new window, browse for items in the left box or use the Search box to find criteria. For example, enter ESG and choose the parameters to add to the table.
  4. Click the Add New at the bottom of the window.

To edit/delete the existing column:

Click the down arrow in the lower right corner and select the applicable options.

For more advanced formatting options, expand the Format Results section.

6. To export to Excel, save, or print results, click the corresponding icon from the icon bar at top..


Screening: Companies and Deals

The Screening component offers options for creating custom sets of equities in all financial categories and creating highly customizable sets of companies and firms based on investment activity.

Under Screening tab find the following sub-tabs:

Universal Screening – use to create a custom set of securities for any financial category.

  1. Select Universal Screening sub-tab.
  2. From the bar at top select financial category: Equity, Debt, Holder, or Fund. For example, click Debt.
  3. In Universe Limitation search box, enter your criteria. For example, start typing "corporate" and make selection from auto-fill list, e.g. Issue Group > Corporate.
  4. Click the Search icon in Universe Limitation box to add additional criteria from available categories.
  5. Click Report tab when done.
  6. Click the Chart icon to convert results to chart if applicable.
  7. Use the icons in top right corner to save, print, or download results by selecting a respective icon.


  • Click Screen Dashboard button on right of the top toolbar to access an extensive library of FactSet screen templates
  • Click to start a new screen

Idea Screening – use to create custom sets of companies, deals, or investment firms based on multiple criteria.

  1. Select Idea Screening sub-tab.
  2. Select category: Companies, Mergers & Acquisitions, Capital Raising, or League Tables. For example, select Portfolio Companies.
  3. Select criteria from left column and/or select any pre-defined screens in the center window. As you add criteria, view the adjusting number of matching results at top right .
  4. Click the View button at top right when done.
  5. To refine search or customize results, use buttons at top:
    • Click the Edit Screen to modify search criteria
    • Click the Edit Report to add/remove columns in report
    • Click the Adjust Logic to change the Boolean logic between criteria selections
  6. Click the Download icon in top right corner to download results to Excel.
  7. Go to Save icon and from the drop-down, select from the following options: Save Screen, Save Report, or Save Identifiers. The latter selection will open the FactSet Personal folder where you can save results as a custom list of identifiers for future use in Excel.​

SharkRepellent – See above Screening: Corporate Governance section of this guide.

MergerMetrics – use to search for specific documents associated with deals.

  1. Create a custom set of companies based on deal criteria from available selections.
  2. Click Execute.
  3. Click documents links to view related deal documents.
  4. From the drop-down fields above results, select report types. That will open the requested view.
  5. Click the document icon to view the document.
  6. To download, save, or print, use the respective icons above results.