Sorting in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Looking at a range of data or data in a table can be confusing if it is disorganized. If you want to know how to sort in Excel, Microsoft’s Excel software program has a handy built-in sort function that allows you to sort at a high level.

In this article, we describe the simple steps for using each type of sort option to help you organize data, and make it easier to understand and read. This article will show you how to sort in Excel and how to take advantage of this feature.

What is sorting in Excel?

Sort is a fantastic tool in Excel that allows you to quickly sort data by arranging them in a particular order according to common sorting criteria. You can sort the data in a table column numerically or alphabetically. You can also sort by a single column or choose a more granular sort range.

Excel has a high sorting level and can organize many columns with more than one sort criterion. For example, you can sort a list of blog post writer names by the number of blog posts written and their month of birth. If you’re in sales, you can organize your monthly sales to see the biggest sales data at a glance. By creating a custom sort list, you can organize data the way you find most convenient.

Why learning to sort in Excel is useful

  • Sorting Excel can help you improve your presentation skills. This tool is easy to use and useful as it will organize your data in a way that is well displayed and organized.
  • Learning to use the sort option will improve your skills in Excel. The sort option will undeniably save you time when working in an Excel spreadsheet. In addition, developing good Excel skills is essential as there are many jobs that use Excel.
  • Learning how to sort data in Excel simplifies practical data analysis. The sort function helps you find problems or trends and aids in the decision-making process. When data is easy to read and well organized, data analysis processes will be simpler and less time consuming.

Sorting in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Open Excel and enter your data

Before using a normal sort in Excel, you need to open the program. Once Excel is open, enter the necessary data to display and add column headings as needed. The data must be in a table or a custom list, including multiple rows or a single row or column.

Step 2: Check the table or data range

Once your data is in the workbook, check it to make sure no cell values ​​are missing from your range of cells. Checking your data is essential because empty columns or rows do not match your data after using the sort and filter function. Correct any errors or missing data and unhide hidden columns before going to the next step.

Step 3: Back up your data

Make a copy of your original data for later retrieval. You can back up your data by duplicating the workbook in Excel. Right-click the Sheets tab in the lower-left corner of Excel. Then select the move or copy option and click the check mark next to to make a copy. An alternative method is to use a backup tool.

Step 4: Open the Data tab

Now you are ready to sort the data in a table. Open the data tab. You will find it at the top of the Excel window. After opening the data panel, go to the “sort and filter” drop-down list on the navigation bar.

Step 5: Open the Customize Sort dialog box or use the Quick Sort option

There are two sorting options in the “sort and filter” group. First, you need to select the range of cells that you want to sort. There is a quick sort option and a custom sort option. By default, the quick sort option arranges your data in ascending or descending order. You’ll find these two smaller sorting options to the left of the large sort button.

In the “sort and filter” menu, the sort button is located next to the two quick sort options. This option allows you to sort your data according to custom criteria. When you click on that option, a drop-down list will appear. Click on the custom sort option. A custom dialog box opens where you can choose how you want to sort the data. You can sort the data by number, date, time, cell color, font, etc. You can change the cell color and font by clicking the conditional formatting icon.

Step 6: Adjust your sorting

You can custom sort multiple columns and rows at once in the custom sort dialog box. Sort levels by selecting the Add Level button in the sorting box at the top. Then open the Sort by drop-down list in the column section and choose which column you want to sort. Then open the Sort by drop-down menu and select an option. Then select specific cell values ​​from each drop-down menu under the “sort by” section.

For the order, you can decide whether you want to sort the data alphabetically or from Z to A. If the data is in the form of numbers, you can choose to sort it from largest to smallest or vice versa. If your table has column headers, click the “my data has headers” checkbox. To sort your data, close the dialog box by clicking the submit button labeled “ok”.

How to sort in Excel at once

You can sort an entire range of cells at once or just an individual column by choosing the range of cells you want to sort. Then open the data tab and click on one of the two small sort icons next to the large sort icon.

These two icons sort the data you selected in ascending order from A to Z and in descending order from Z to A. Make sure not to select the header if you want to sort data all at once. If you want to sort the data in more detail, more steps are needed, as mentioned above.

Benefits of sorting in Excel

  • The sorting tool helps to create a well-arranged spreadsheet. The sort button in Excel is useful because it can quickly sort your data to create an organized and easy-to-read Excel sheet with your data. If you work with data every day, this tool will make your job much easier as it helps you format and organize your data in a few easy steps.
  • Excel can sort up to 64 columns in the custom sort dialog box. Excel’s sort option can sort at a high level. You can sort many columns in the custom sort dialog box if you have a large range of cells.
  • Using Excel to sort can help build an effective business plan. The sorting function helps determine problems and trends in a dataset. By identifying these problems and trends, you can create a strategic plan to solve problems or use trends to increase productivity.

The Importance of Learning to Use Excel Sheets

Excel is essential because it is a popular software program that many companies use to perform essential tasks. Statista has stated that more than a million businesses use Office 365, a group of software programs, including Excel, that Microsoft has developed. Excel is flexible, easy to use, increases productivity and improves data organization. Learning to sort in Excel and using other formulas in this program may create job opportunities.

An excellent way to learn to excel is through a boot camp, a short-term learning-intensive course. By finding the best Excel boot camps, you’ll learn everything you need to know in no time. There are also many helpful tutorials, exercises, and quizzes to help you learn Excel.

How to Sort in Excel FAQ

What does the filter function next to the sort button do?

The filter feature lets you choose specific data you want to see in your table, and the rest will be hidden. First select the filter button on the menu bar and open the filter options. Then choose how many filters you want. When you’re done, each heading has a drop-down menu that you can use to filter data.

Can you sort data in Excel by date?

You can sort a list of dates in column sorts in ascending or descending order by clicking one of the two quick sort options or by using the custom sort option.

Which Jobs Use Excel?

A few jobs that use Excel to perform daily and vital tasks include statisticians, financial analysts, economists, and sales managers. However, knowing how to use Excel is helpful for any office task.

What does each sort button icon look like?

The sort icon for the quick sort option for ascending order has a capital A with a Z below it and a down arrow on the right. The descending order option is the same, but the letter Z is at the top and the letter A is at the bottom. Customize the sort option looks like a table with the letter A and Z twice in the table.

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