Sort Data

Excel Sort Explained

Using Excel Sort, you can easily sort your data. 

You can sort your data in Ascending/Descending order if the column contains numbers or dates, and also sort in A-Z/Z-A order (based on the language used – it works for various languages 🙂 )

Excel Sort Example

 To sort your table, first, you should apply filtering on your range. Select a cell in the range, then click the Sort & Filter -> Filter in your Home tab. Now, go to the column you’d like to sort and click the filter icon at the top of the column and select your preferred sorting method!

Let’s see an example of how we can sort the Price column in Ascending order:

Notice how the entire table was sorted based on the Price column? 

Keep that in mind – When you sort your data – All columns are sorted. 

OK, what about sorting the city names in A-Z order? No problem! Just click the City Filter and select Sort A-Z:

What about sorting by Color? No problem! Here’s how you can sort the Red values first:

Restoring original sorting order

A very important thing to keep in mind when sorting is that it’s difficult to restore the original sort order as Excel doesn’t “remember” what was the original sorting order. If, for example, you re-open your workbook after sorting, you will not be able to restore the previous sorting. 

What can you do to avoid this? Just add an additional column with the row numbers before applying any sorting:

Sorting more than one column using Custom Sort

Sometimes we may want to sort our data by more than one criteria. For example – First you sort by Product A-Z, then sort by Price in Ascending Order. We can do it using Custom Sort, which can be used from the Sort & Filter button:

Avoiding troubles when sorting ranges

Folks, this one is important. I’ve wasted multiple hours trying to understand what went wrong with my data when I used Sort the wrong way. 

Remember – Make sure that you selected the right range for sorting, meaning that all the columns in the relevant range have the filter sign on the top. If it’s not the case, your data will get messy.

In the following example, note how we forgot to include the last column in our sorting range, thus causing trouble in our data. Make sure that all columns have the filter sign!

Practice Excel Sort

Now you’re good to go. However, before continuing to the next tutorial, please practice Excel Sort. Click here to download our Excel Sort exercise!