Quickly Sort Your Data

You can quickly rearrange or sort the records in a data range based on the data in a single column by first activating a cell in the column and then clicking the A-Z or Z-A option in the Sort & Filter group on the Data tab.

  1. Select the first cell in the column.
  2. Choose the Data tab on Ribbon
    • Press the A-Z button to sort the column in ascending order
    • Press the Z-A button to sort the column in descending order.

You can also access the sort options from the Home tab of the ribbon. To sort data, select a cell in the column you want to sort, then click on the Sort & Filter button in the Editing group of the Home tab.

The Sort & Filter menu changes to reflect the data in your column

The options that appear in the Sort & Filter menu changes to reflect the data in the column:

  1. For numerical values, you’ll find the options Sort Largest To Smallest and Sort Smallest To Largest.
  2. For text values, the options are Sort A To Z (ascending order) and Sort Z To A (descending order).
  3. For dates, the options are Sort Newest To Oldest and Sort Oldest To Newest.

Note: If you’ve selected multiple columns, the data will be sorted based on the column that holds the active cell.

Default Sorting Orders

The following list shows the default ascending and descending sort orders for different types of data:

  1. Default Ascending Sort Order
    • Numbers
      Smallest negative number to the largest positive number
    • Text (or text and numbers)
      Numbers 0-9, special characters, and alphabetic characters A-Z.
  2. Default Descending Sort Order
    • Numbers
      Largest positive number to smallest negative number.
    • Text (or text and numbers)
      Alphabetic characters Z-A, special characters, and numbers 9-0.

Sort Data on Multiple Fields or Levels

To sort multiple columns in Excel, you can follow these steps:

  1. Select the entire range of data that you want to sort
  2. Follow one of these steps to open the Sort dialog box:
    • Go to the Data tab and click the Sort button.
    • OR, go to the Home tab, click on the Sort & Filter button, and select Custom Sort option.
  3. In the Sort dialog box, choose which columns to Sort by and in what order.
  4. Click on the Add Level button to add additional sorting levels if needed. This allows you to sort by multiple columns in a specific order.
  5. For each sorting level, select the column you want to sort by from the drop-down menu and choose the sorting order.
  6. Click the OK button to apply the sorting to your selected range.

Sort and Filter Data

  1. Quickly Sort Data by Single or Multiple Columns
  2. Sort Data with Conditional Formatting Criteria
  3. Sort Weekdays and Months
  4. Sort and Fill Data with Custom Lists
  5. Random Sort using RAND() Function
  6. Filter (AutoFilter) Data
  7. Excel Advanced Filter