Notes on Using Definition Queries (a Data Filter)
See also Using Wild Cards to Select Features
A Definition Query can be defined for any data layer. This will limit the display (and attribute table) to only those features (records) that meet the query. Definition Queries are based on the attributes of the data layer and are set up via the Layer Properties sheet.
Default display includes all features in a given layer:
Right-click on the layer in the Table of Contents to open the Layer Properties sheet:
Click on the Definition Query tab, then on the Query Builder button:
Enter an SQL query using the Query Builder buttons (or type it manually into the lower box):
Optional: Click Verify to test your SQL syntax
Verify your Query.
Optional: Modify the display name for the layer to reflect the Definition Query that has been established:
Results: A subset of the original data (only that which meets the Definition Query) and a more descriptive name for the layer
See also Saving Layer Files as a means of preserving / reusing your Definition Queries...