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Column Sort in Excel (Table of Contents)
How to Sort a Column in Excel
Let’s understand how to sort a column in excel with examples.
We all know how to sort rows by selecting the row headers. In this article, I will take you through the method of sorting the data column-wise. Believe me, not many people do not know about this cool technique. Then why are you waiting go ahead one step more than your other counterparts?
Sorting is nothing but arranging data in order. Usually, we sort rows to make the data in order. For example Sort from A to Z, Z to A, Smallest to Largest, Largest to Smallest etc…
Column Sort in Excel – Example #1
Take one simple example. I have downloaded this data from the online server. This data is the salary earned by the employees for the year 2018.
In the first row we have month list and in the first column, we have employee names. If you look at the month list it is not in order. I mean not from Jan to Dec rather it is jumbled here and there.
As an Analyst, it is not a good thing to present the data as it is. Copy and paste and make the data in order is a time-consuming process.
Follow below to arrange the data in order.
Step 1: Select the data. Select means do not select all the data but select as per the below image. Select only the columns B to M.
Step 2: Now go to Data and select Sort. (You can press ALT + D + S)
Step 3: Now click on Options.
Step 4: Once you click on Options it will open up the below dialogue box. Select Sort Left to Right.
Once select this option to excel understands the data from right to left instead of top to bottom.
Step 5: Now click on the Sort by drop-down list. You will not see any header rather is shows only Row1, Row2, Row3 like this.
Step 6: Understand our requirement here. We need to sort the data month-wise. Our month is in the first row. So select Row 1 as the option. Since we are sorting the data month-wise from Jan to Dec it becomes oldest to newest. So select Oldest to Newest under Order section.
Step 7: Click the OK button, it will sort the sort from Jan to Dec.
Column Sort in Excel – Example #2
I was into an interview and I have given data from the hiring manager to sort to the data based in the heading. He has given me the below data asked me to sort the data. The first column should be Revenue, the second one should have Cost, and the final column should be Profit.
I was just thinking for a minute. He did not ask to sort the data alphabetically if that was the case it would have been a walk in the park for me rather he is asked me to sort differently.
After thinking for a minute or two I remembered the option called Custom Sort. In custom sort, we can mention the headings which one to come first, which one to come second and so on.
Step 1: Select the data.
Step 2: Press ALT + D + S and Go to Options.
Step 3: Select Sort Left to Right.
Step 4: Click on Ok and under Sort by option select the Row1.
Step 4: Since we need to so custom sort we cannot simply select A to Z but we need to select Custom List option.
Step 5: Under custom list, we can mention our order of the sort. Under List Entries, I have mentioned my order.
Step 6: Click on OK, it will show the Order list in the Sort dialogue box.
Step 7: Click on OK. It will sort the data according to the values I have given.
Things to Remember
- It is important to select the options and set our sorting method as Sort right to left otherwise it will sort it as rows type.
- It is very useful to sort in case of arranging headings alphabetically.
- There is no option of My Data Has Header in column sort unlike in rows sorting.
- We can sort the dates from oldest to newest.
This has been a guide to Column Sort in Excel. Here we discuss how to Sort a Column in Excel using excel example and downloadable excel templates. You may also look at these useful excel tools –
- Custom List in Excel
- How to Show Row Header in Excel?
- Add Excel Column Filter
- Edit List in Excel Drop-Down
- Shortcut Filter in Excel
- How to Sort by Color in Excel?
- How to Sort by Number in Excel?
- Sort Data in Excel
- How to Filter in Excel?
- How to Insert Multiple Rows in Excel?
- How to Show Formula in Excel?