Sorting Data

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In this post we will try to understand how to sort data in excel.

Sort could be performed on single column and multiple columns in excel and sort order could either be ascending (Low to High) or descending (High to Low).

We could also perform sort on the basis of a custom list that we could create and tell excel to perform the sort on the basis of the custom list (We have explained this here sort by custom list in excel).

But in this section we will understand sorting on one and more than one column.

Below is the sample data which we will use to explain sort in excel, the data has country, sales and he month of sales figure.

Sample data to explain sort on single column and sort on multiple column

Sort on single column

We will try to understand sort on single column by sorting below data alphabetically on country column.

Select entire data and click on sort symbol in Data tab in excel.

Click on sort icon to sort data

You will get sort menu as shown below, select country from column drop down and select A to Z from order drop down and then press OK.

select column on which you want to sort data

Now you could see below the data is sorted by country in ascending order.

sorted data on single column

To sort data in descending order select Z to A from order drop down.

Sort on Multiple Column

Suppose now we want to further sort the data by date descending.

We have already sorted the data by country ascending and now we want to add one more sort level on date column.

To do that, add one more column by clicking “Add Level” icon as shown in the figure below and then select Month from Column drop down and since we want our data to be sorted by country ascending and month descending, so select Oldest to Newest from Order drop down and press OK.

add another column to sort on multiple column

As we could see below our data is sorted by country ascending and month descending.


data is sorted on multiple columns

The way we have added second column to sort on, we could add as many columns as we desire to sort data.

There are other types of sorts too like sort by cell color, sort by font color which we have explained in different section.

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