Master Sorting Data in 2 minutes

Excel 2016

If you're working with a lot of data in Excel, a disorganized spreadsheet can turn in to a sea of numbers, names, and dates. In this week's lesson, learn how to sort data to make sense of it all.

Sort Data

Once your data has been organized into columns and rows in Excel, it’s possible to sort the rows by the values in a certain column.

Sort by One Column

  1. Select a cell in the column you want to sort.

  2. Click the Sort & Filter button on the Home tab.

    Tip: You can also right-click a cell in a column and select Sort.

  3. Select a sort order.

    • Sort A to Z: Sorts the column in ascending order.
    • Sort Z to A: Sorts the column in descending order.

    Tip: If a column of data is selected with more data next to it, the Sort Warning dialog box appears. Normally, you need to expand the selection. Otherwise, the selected column of data will be sorted independently of the surrounding data.

Sort by Multiple Columns

To sort by more than one column, use a custom sort.

Tip: You can also use a custom sort to sort by colors or icons.

  1. Select a cell within the range you want to sort.

  2. Click the Sort & Filter button.

  3. Select Custom Sort.

    The Sort dialog box appears.

  1. Select the first column you want to sort by.

    Tip: To sort by cell or font color, or by icon, click the Sort On list arrow and select an option.

  2. Select a sort order.

  3. To sort by an additional column, click the Add Level button.

    Tip: Click the Delete Level button to remove a sort level from the sort criteria.

  1. Select the next column you want to sort by.

  2. Select a sort order.

    Tip: Repeat these steps as necessary to sort by additional columns.

  3. Click OK.