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Written by Jacky Chou

Controlling The Sorting Order In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Understanding sorting order in Excel is essential to properly organize data for analysis and presentation. Excel defaults to sorting data in ascending order, meaning values will be sorted from smallest to largest.
  • Sorting data in ascending order can be done in different ways, depending on the needs and preferences of the user. Sorting by a single column involves clicking on the column header and selecting “Sort A to Z”. Sorting by multiple columns requires selecting the columns to be sorted and specifying the order of sorting for each column.
  • Sorting data in descending order follows the same procedure as sorting in ascending order, except that the user selects “Sort Z to A” instead of “Sort A to Z”. Sorting by multiple columns in descending order proceeds the same way as sorting by multiple columns in ascending order.
  • Filtering sorted data in Excel allows users to extract specific information from a larger data set. This can be done by selecting the column to filter and applying various rules, such as filtering for values greater than a certain number or excluding certain values.

Are you looking to manage data in a useful way? If so, sorting order in Excel can help you do just that. With the right tools, you can easily organize and display your data in ways that help you get the most out of your spreadsheet. Let’s explore how you can control sorting order in Excel.

Understanding Sorting Order in Excel

Understanding How Sorting Works in Excel

To understand how sorting works in Excel, you must first be familiar with the concept of data organization. Sorting in Excel involves arranging data in either ascending or descending order based on specific criteria. This process is beneficial for analyzing and interpreting large amounts of information more effectively.

To demonstrate the sorting order in Excel, we have created a table with the heading “Organizing Data in Excel” that includes columns for Name, Age, and Salary. The table has several rows with actual data. You can sort the data in Excel by selecting the column header and then clicking on the Sort button. Once sorted, you can quickly find, read, and manipulate data in a more structured way.

One important detail to note is that when sorting data in Excel, it is essential to select the entire range of data to be sorted, including any header rows. Additionally, you can organize the data based on multiple criteria by pressing the Shift and Ctrl buttons while selecting the sorting columns in Excel.

Pro Tip: Remember to save your work often while sorting data in Excel to avoid losing any unsaved data.

Understanding Sorting Order in Excel-Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel,

Image credits: by Yuval Arnold

Sorting Data in Ascending Order

Sort data with ease and accuracy! ‘Sorting by a Single Column’ and ‘Sorting by Multiple Columns’ explain how to do it. Learn how to sort in ascending order with one or more columns. Have fun sorting!

Sorting Data in Ascending Order-Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel,

Image credits: by Joel Washington

Sorting by a Single Column

When it comes to arranging data in a structured manner, Single Column Sorting can be immensely helpful. As data sorting has taken the front seat for organizations and businesses, having hands-on experience on how to sort data in ascending order can come in handy.

To learn how to sort by a single column, let’s create a table with columns like ‘Name’, ‘Age’, and ‘Salary’ using appropriate HTML tags and true data.


In the created table, select any one of the columns, right-click on it and choose the ‘Sort A-Z’ option from the drop-down menu. This will sort the column in ascending order. The ascending order should then repeat through all other rows of our dataset.

It is an effective way of organizing large datasets without losing insight into each entry’s details. This method plays a significant role in making meaningful decisions based upon insights gained from analyzed data.

Just like Single Column Sorting, Microsoft Excel offers us various options to organize related information into tables. Similarly, Single Column Sorting has taken an essential seat where professionals rely upon it every day to manage vast sums of their projects’ information.

Sorting by multiple columns in excel is like being a conductor of a chaotic orchestra, but with the power to make everything fall into perfect harmony.

Sorting by Multiple Columns

When sorting data by multiple factors, a more nuanced approach is required. This involves organizing data according to multiple criteria for more precise and detailed analysis.

To properly illustrate this concept, we can create a table with columns reflecting the relevant factors against which we want to sort our data. For instance, if we were analyzing retail sales data, we might use columns for date range, product type, and location. We would then place our actual sales data in the corresponding cells within these columns.

In using such a table for sorting, we could sort first by one factor (say date range) and then by another factor within that group (such as product type or location). By doing so, we can uncover much more specific insights than would be possible through simpler sorting methods.

In practice, this technique is especially useful for those who need to closely analyze large sets of information without being overwhelmed by too many details at once. By using multiple criteria for sorting, it becomes easier to extract meaning from complex datasets.

Pro Tip: Consider building pivot tables in Excel to make multi-factor sorting even more efficient and effective.

Ready to flip the script? Time to take those numbers on a wild ride in the opposite direction with Sorting Data in Descending Order.

Sorting Data in Descending Order

Organize your data in an easy-to-understand way! Use ‘Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel’ to sort data in descending order. ‘Sorting by a Single Column’ and ‘Sorting by Multiple Columns’ are the approaches to prioritize the data you need. Give it a try!

Sorting Data in Descending Order-Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel,

Image credits: by Joel Washington

Sorting by a Single Column

For organizing data in reverse order, the procedure is to employ ‘Descending Sorting’. This method is used for sorting data based on a single column, with the values placed in descending order from highest to lowest.

To implement the procedure, create a table with appropriate columns by using the tags <table>, <td>, and <tr>. Choose the appropriate column and then select the ‘Sort Descending’ option located under ‘Sort & Filter’ from Excel’s Data Tab. The information in that particular column will be sorted in descending order.

Apart from this, we can perform sorting based on other criteria like alphabetical order, color or icon-based scheme, and so on which makes our sorting more user friendly.

In ancient times, when people did not have sophisticated computer software such as Microsoft Excel, they manually sorted large amounts of data by hand; a time-consuming and challenging task. However, with modern technology today, sorting data has become effortless and straightforward with just a few clicks.

Sorting by multiple columns in Excel is like trying to organize a group of indecisive friends for a night out – it takes patience and a lot of clicking.

Sorting by Multiple Columns

While organizing data in Excel, sorting by multiple columns can come in handy. Consider using this feature to sort your data efficiently.

In the table below, we have sorted employee information by first name and then by salary. This allows us to see which employees share the same first name and compares their salaries.

Employee NameSalary
Michaela Davis$72,000
Michael Jones$60,000
Oliver Peterson$65,000
Pete Wilson$54,000
Samantha Matthews$86,000

Another useful feature while sorting by multiple columns is that you can easily switch between ascending and descending orders for each column. It enables quick analysis of different combinations of data.

Did you know? According to a report from Microsoft, over one billion people worldwide use Excel as their primary tool for analyzing data!

Filtering your way through sorted data in Excel is like finding a needle in a haystack, except the needle’s color keeps changing.

Filtering Sorted Data in Excel

Filtering Data After Sorting in Excel

To filter sorted data in Excel, select the range of cells containing the sorted data. Then, click the “Filter” button in the “Data” tab and select the filter criteria based on your requirements.

True and Actual Data for Filtering Sorted Data in Excel


To filter this sorted data in Excel, select the range of cells from A1 to C6 and click on the “Filter” button under the “Data” tab. Then, select the criteria as per your needs.

Additional Information on Filtering Sorted Data in Excel

You can also use different filter options such as “Text Filters,” “Number Filters,” and “Date Filters” to further refine your search results and get more specific data.

A Fact About Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel

According to a survey conducted by Microsoft, more than 750 million people around the world use Excel for various purposes including financial analysis, business reporting, and academic research.

Filtering Sorted Data in Excel-Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel,

Image credits: by James Washington

Five Facts About Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel:

  • ✅ You can sort data in Excel by multiple columns, using up to 64 levels of sorting. (Source: Microsoft Office Support)
  • ✅ Sorting can be done in either ascending or descending order, depending on your preference. (Source: Excel Jet)
  • ✅ The default sorting method in Excel is alphabetical, with numbers sorted as if they were text. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ You can also create custom sorts, allowing you to sort data based on specific criteria such as color coding or font style. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ To sort data in a table or range, you can use the Sort button on the Data tab or use the SORT function in formulas. (Source: Quick Guide to Excel Sorting)

FAQs about Controlling The Sorting Order In Excel

What is Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel?

Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel is a feature that allows users to arrange and organize data stored in a spreadsheet in a specific order.

How can I Control the Sorting Order in Excel?

To Control the Sorting Order in Excel, select the data you want to sort, then go to the ‘Data’ tab and click on ‘Sort.’ From here, you can choose the column you want to sort by, as well as the order and direction of the sort.

What are some Tips for Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel?

When sorting data in Excel, it’s important to keep in mind that certain types of data may require specific sorting options. For example, if sorting dates, you should choose the ‘Sort Oldest to Newest’ option.

Can I Undo a Sort in Excel?

Yes, you can Undo a Sort in Excel by pressing ‘Ctrl + Z’ or going to the ‘Data’ tab and clicking on ‘Undo.’

What is the Difference between Sorting and Filtering in Excel?

Sorting in Excel involves arranging data in a specific order based on specific columns or criteria, while filtering involves hiding or displaying specific data based on specific criteria.

Why is Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel Useful?

Controlling the Sorting Order in Excel can be useful for a variety of reasons, such as better organizing data, detecting trends and patterns, and improving data analysis.

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