What is Sort in Excel?
SORT in excel means arranging the data in a determined order. Sometimes we need to arrange the names alphabetically, sort the numbers from smallest to largest, largest to smallest, dates from oldest to latest, latest to oldest etc. In excel we have an inbuilt tool called SORT option. This sort option can help us to sort the data based on the condition we give.
In excel SORT option is located under Data tab.
- In order to organize the data, the SORT option plays a key role in it. If the monthly sales data is not in order from Jan to Dec, it may not be a proper organizing way of the data structure.
- Excel SORT option will help us to solve all kinds of data to make life easy. In this article, I will demonstrate the usages of the SORT option in excel and save a lot of time.
How to Sort Data in Excel?
Example #1 – Single Level Data Sorting
This will sort the data based on only one column nothing else.
Now, look at the below data. I have sales of different products by Segment and Country.
I have the data until the 700th row. Download the excel file to follow along with me.
Now I want to sort them based on the Country column from A to Z.
- Step 1: Select the data that we want to sort. You can use the shortcut key to select the entire data, select the first row and then click Ctrl + Shift + Down Arrow.
- Step 2: Go to Data tab > Sort. The shortcut key to open the sort option is ALT + D + S.
- Step 3: Now make sure “My data has headers” checkbox has ticked. If this box has ticked means, the selected data has headers otherwise; your will header will be treated as the data only.
- Step 4: Click on Sort by drop-down list and select the word Country.
- Step 5: Click on Sort On. Here we can sort based on values, Cell Colour, Font Colour, and Cell Icon.
- Step 6: Finally, select the Order. Here you can sort A to Z, Z to A and custom list.
- Step 7: Final SORT of dialogue box should look like this.
- Step 8: Click on OK it will sort the data country-wise alphabetically A to Z.
Example #2 – Multi-Level Data Sorting
In the previous example, we have learned single level sorting. In this example, I will explain to you the process of Multi-level sorting.
Previously I sorted the data country-wise. Assume I want to sort the data Segment-wise, Product-wise, and Units sold from largest to smallest. This requires multi-level sorting.
- Step 1: Select the data. (I am using the same data from the previous example)
- Step 2: Press ALT + D + S (shortcut key to open the SORT box)
- Step 3: First select Segment heading.
- Step 4: Now click on Add Level to insert one more layer.
- Step 5: From the second layer select Product.
- Step 6: Now click on Add Level to add the third layer.
- Step 7: From the third layer select Units Sold header.
- Step 8: by default, the Order will be from Smallest to Largest. Under Order click on the dropdown list and select Largest to Smallest.
- Step 9: Both the layers will be sorted alphabetically and Units Sold will be sorted from the largest value to the lowest value.
Firstly, it will sort the data based on the Segment column then will sort by Product and finally by Units sold (largest to smallest).
Example #3 – Sorting Dates Data
I have a sales table country-wise at different dates. I want to sort the data country-wise first and then date-wise (oldest to newest)
- Step 1: Select the data first.
- Step 2: Open sort of option. (ALT + D + S)
- Step 3: In the first drop-down list select Country-wise header.
- Step 4: Click on Add Level to insert one more layer.
- Step 5: From the second layer select the Date header.
- Step 6: by default, orders selected Oldest to Newest. Our objective is to sort from oldest to newest.
Click on OK to sort.
Things to Remember
- We need to select the entire to sort. Otherwise, left out columns will be as it is.
- Make sure my data has a headers check has selected to sort the data.
- We can sort the colored cells, colored font etc…
- We sort the data by applying the filter in excel as well.
- We can sort from A to Z, Z to A in case of alphabetic.
- We can sort from Largest to Smallest, Smallest to Largest in case of numbers.
- In the case of dates, we can sort from Oldest to Newest, Newest to oldest.
This has been a guide to Sort in Excel. Here we will demonstrate the SORT option in excel (Single Level and Multi-Level Sorting) along with excel example and a downloadable template. You may also look at these useful functions in excel –