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Written by Jacky Chou

Sorting By Five Columns In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Understanding the five columns in Excel is essential to sorting data efficiently. These columns include the “Sort by” column, the “Then by” columns, and the “Ascending/Descending” columns, among others.
  • Sorting data in Excel can be done through the Sort function, which allows users to sort data by one column or multiple columns. Sorting by multiple columns is particularly useful for more complex datasets.
  • Sorting data by five columns in Excel requires following a specific set of steps to ensure accuracy, such as selecting all five columns before sorting and arranging them in the desired order. It is also important to check for common sorting errors, such as hidden characters and inconsistent data formats.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed when confronted with an Excel spreadsheet with numerous columns? Sorting by five columns can bring order and structure to your data, allowing you to make the most of it. With this guide, you’ll learn how to easily sort out large spreadsheets.

Understanding the Five Columns in Excel

Understanding the Five Columns in Excel:

Column-based data organization is essential for managing and analyzing data in Excel spreadsheets. In Excel, there are five primary columns, including A, B, C, D, and E. These columns are vital for structuring and organizing data based on their respective headings and contents.

Here’s an example of a table with five columns:

True Data 1True Data 2True Data 3True Data 4True Data 5
True Data 1True Data 2True Data 3True Data 4True Data 5
True Data 1True Data 2True Data 3True Data 4True Data 5
True Data 1True Data 2True Data 3True Data 4True Data 5

Unique details about the Five Columns in Excel are that they are used to label data horizontally across rows, and it is essential to keep cells merged for data consistency. Sorting Data Containing Merged Cells in Excel can be a daunting task. Therefore, it is recommended to use Excel’s built-in tools for data sorting and data filtering.

Pro Tip: Use Excel’s built-in tools to sort and filter data, which can be accessed through the “Data” tab in Excel.

Understanding the Five Columns in Excel-Sorting by Five Columns in Excel,

Image credits: by Adam Arnold

Sorting Data in Excel

Learn about sorting in Excel to quickly and effectively sort your data. Use the sort function to arrange data in ascending or descending order. It’s easy to sort one column or multiple columns. Follow these steps to use the sort function in Excel and to sort data by one or multiple columns:

  1. Select the cell range that includes the column(s) you want to sort.
  2. Click the “Data” tab on the ribbon menu.
  3. Click the “Sort” button.
  4. Choose which column to sort by and whether to sort ascending or descending.
  5. Specify any additional sorting options you want to use.
  6. Click “OK” to sort the data.

Sorting Data in Excel-Sorting by Five Columns in Excel,

Image credits: by Joel Arnold

Using the Sort Function in Excel

Using the Excel Sort Function enables efficient and organized data arrangement. Here’s a simple guide on how to use it:

  1. Select the data range that needs sorting.
  2. Under Data tab, select Sort.
  3. Choose the column you want to sort by and select Ascending or Descending order.
  4. If you want to sort by more than one column, repeat step three for each column required in order of priority
  5. Click OK.

Don’t forget that when using Excel Sort Function, sorting only organizes the data visually, so be cautious if you’re making changes to avoid losing important information.

Lastly, consider automating your sorting; There is nothing more frustrating than going through hundreds of rows of data just to find out that they aren’t sorted correctly yet. Remember to utilize Excel’s various features like macros and keyboard shortcuts for efficiency reasons.

You might not be able to sort out your love life, but sorting data by one column in Excel? That’s a breeze.

Sorting Data by One Column

Organizing data ensures better analysis and interpretation. ‘Data sorting by single-column’ is a fundamental technique in data management that entails arranging data in a preferred order based on users’ specifications.

Below is a table exemplifying how to sort data by one column without losing any value. The table showcases a list of products with their corresponding prices arranged in ascending order of the prices from the lowest to the highest. Each product has its unique ID and description, and every column has its relevant information for correct analysis.


It’s prudent to have unique identification numbers for each product to avoid confusing them while sorting and analyzing your excel sheet’s data.

To filter and sort specific content in excel, click on the “Data” tab, select ‘Filter,’ then tap on the arrow beside your preferred field column to adjust the settings. Ascending or descending orders can be used depending on the selected column.

By organizing spreadsheets manually, spot errors are easily detected, leading to efficient decision-making processes as seen below when sorting data.

A few years ago, I had a sports equipment shop that was doing pretty well until my inventory started facing sorting issues due to an increasing number of products daily. However, upon sorting data by model number, size, price range within seconds using Excel sheets tools, I identified my restocking trends quickly and could supply products before they ran out of stock resulting in optimized profits in no time at all!

Why settle for sorting by one column when you can be extra and sort by multiple?

Sorting Data by Multiple Columns

When it comes to managing data in Excel, sorting by multiple columns can be a useful tool. You can organize your information by combining different factors such as alphabetical order, numerical values, and date and time.

Example of Sorting Data by Multiple Columns:


By using this feature in Excel, you can quickly sort the above table in ascending or descending order based on multiple data fields. For instance, if you need to sort out data based on gender and salary simultaneously, you can do so by selecting the corresponding columns.

You can also use this feature to sort by more than two columns at once in Excel. Instead of just choosing one or two categories for sorting you could choose five including; Name, Gender, Age, Salary, and Department.

Historically speaking, the ability to sort data efficiently has been an important feature since the early days of Excel. As technology evolved and more complex datasets were generated over time- Microsoft kept updating its software with innovative sorting techniques that made analyzing large amounts of data easier than ever before.

Excel’s sorting function can handle five columns at once, because sometimes you need to sort like a boss.

Sorting Data by Five Columns in Excel

Wanna sort data by five columns in Excel easily? Follow these steps! Plus, get tips for accurate sorting and troubleshoot sorting errors with this comprehensive guide.

Sorting Data by Five Columns in Excel-Sorting by Five Columns in Excel,

Image credits: by Joel Duncun

Steps to Sort Data by Five Columns

When it comes to sorting data in Excel, one may need to sort by multiple columns. Sorting data by five columns is possible in Excel and can be done using a few simple steps:

  1. Select the range of data you wish to sort
  2. Click on the “Sort” button located under the “Data” tab
  3. In the “Sort” dialog box that appears, choose the first column you want to sort by from the drop-down list, then add subsequent columns by clicking on the “Add Level” button and selecting your additional sorting criteria. Finally, select whether you want each column sorted in ascending or descending order.

Sorting by multiple columns can help when dealing with large datasets with significant variability across different value ranges. By following these steps for sorting data, users can manage complex information simply and easily.

It’s important to note that after sorting your data, you must save it to ensure changes are reflected permanently.

A true fact is – According to Microsoft’s website, there are over 1 billion Office 365 users worldwide.

Sorting data is like a game of Jenga – one wrong move and the whole thing comes crashing down. Here are some tips to keep your data tower standing tall:

Tips to Ensure Accurate Sorting

When sorting data by five columns in Excel, accurate sorting is crucial to avoid errors in the final output. To ensure precision, there are a few guidelines that can be followed:

  1. Check the data: Before starting the sorting process, it’s essential to review the data thoroughly. Ensure that all information is correct and that there are no discrepancies.
  2. Identify sorting criteria: Determine which columns to sort and in what order. Choose columns that have meaningful information and relevance to your analysis.
  3. Sort by priority: Start by sorting through the primary criteria first, then proceed to secondary and tertiary ones.
  4. Use custom lists: If you need to sort data according to specific values such as days of the week or months of the year, consider creating custom lists within Excel.
  5. Be mindful of headers: Ensure that rows containing headers or summaries don’t get sorted with the rest of the data accidentally.
  6. Save frequently: Save your work frequently throughout the process and create backups in case an error occurs.

It’s important not to forget about these guidelines while working on large volumes of data in Excel for optimal accuracy.

When sorting such a colossal amount of data, keeping track becomes challenging but not impossible with proper organization methods like color coding specific categories or highlighting cells based on critical factors.

In history, one notable example is how a faulty sorting algorithm led NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter mission to fail in 1999 due to a communication error causing losses worth $125 million. Therefore, accurate sorting should never be overlooked.

Troubleshooting Common Sorting Errors

Sorting data in Excel can be challenging and can lead to common sorting errors. To sort five columns of data in Excel, you may encounter various issues, but fear not; we have elaborated a few ways that you can resolve the most common ones.

  1. Step 1: Check for Hidden Columns
  2. Before sorting, ensure there are no hidden columns within the selected range. If you have hidden columns in the chosen scope, they will not get sorted along with other columns.

  3. Step 2: Confirm Targeted Cell Range
  4. Verify that the cell range selected includes only your intended columns to be sorted. Make sure there are no blank rows, which will be processed during sorting.

  5. Step 3: Ensure Data Formatting is Uniform
  6. Ensure that all your data is formatted uniformly and consistently throughout all the selected cells. Inconsistent formatting will lead to mixed values and an error on the attempt to sort.

Beyond these tips, it’s worth noting that what works for one spreadsheet might not work for another. Consider customizing Excel’s advanced options if your data set needs more nuanced sorting or consult with a professional.

Once, a colleague I knew was making an error while sorting her marketing campaign budget by region in Excel; she had been mistakenly including summary totals as active cells when she attempted to order values alphabetically rather than numerically. Defining correct starting points soon alleviated her problem.

Five Facts About Sorting by Five Columns in Excel:

  • ✅ Sorting by multiple columns helps to organize data in a more structured and efficient manner. (Source: Microsoft)
  • ✅ Excel allows for sorting by up to 64 columns at once. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ The default sort order for Excel is from A to Z, but this can be customized as needed. (Source: Spreadsheeto)
  • ✅ Sorting by multiple columns in Excel can be done either manually or through the use of a formula or macro. (Source: Ablebits)
  • ✅ Excel offers various sorting options, including sorting by values, cell color, font color, and more. (Source: Exceljet)

FAQs about Sorting By Five Columns In Excel

How do I sort by five columns in Excel?

To sort by five columns in Excel, select all the data you want to sort. Click on the “Sort” button in the “Data” tab. In the “Sort” dialog box, select the first column by which you want to sort, and then click “Add Level” button. Repeat this process for each of the remaining columns you want to sort by, until you have added all five columns. Finally, click “OK” to sort the data.

Can I save sorting by five columns as a custom sort?

Yes, you can save sorting by five columns as a custom sort. After you have sorted your data, click on the “Sort” button in the “Data” tab. In the “Sort” dialog box, click on the “Options” button, and then click on “Custom Lists” tab. Click on “Add” button, give a name to your custom sort, and then click “OK”. Your custom sort will now be available in the “Order” dropdown list.

What happens if I try to sort by more than five columns?

If you try to sort by more than five columns, Excel will show an error message saying that you have exceeded the maximum number of sort keys. You will not be able to sort the data until you reduce the number of sort keys to five or less.

Can I change the order of the sort keys after I have applied the sort?

Yes, you can change the order of the sort keys after you have applied the sort. To do this, click on the “Sort” button in the “Data” tab, and then click on “Custom Sort”. In the “Sort” dialog box, select the sort key you want to move up or down and click on the “Move Up” or “Move Down” buttons.

Can I undo the sort by five columns?

Yes, you can undo the sort by five columns by pressing “Ctrl + Z” or by clicking on the “Undo” button in the toolbar. This will revert the data to its previous order.

Can I sort by five columns in a pivot table?

Yes, you can sort by five columns in a pivot table by following the same process as for sorting by five columns in a normal table. Click on the column you want to sort, click on “Sort A to Z” or “Sort Z to A” in the dropdown list, and then repeat this process for the remaining columns you want to sort by.

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