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Excel Guide

How to Sort Columns in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sorting columns in Excel is a common task that can be performed in a few different ways. In this article, well show you how to sort columns in Excel using the following methods.

Method 1: Sorting Columns in Excel Using the Sort & Filter Tool

One way to sort columns in Excel is to use the Sort & Filter tool. This tool is located in the Data tab on the ribbon. To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. Select the range of cells that you want to sort. To select a range of cells, click the first cell in the range, hold down the Shift key, and then click the last cell in the range.
  2. On the Data tab, in the Sort & Filter group, click Sort.
  3. In the Sort by list, click the column that you want to sort. For example, if you want to sort by last name, click Last Name.
  4. In the Order list, click A to Z or Z to A. If you want to sort in reverse alphabetical order, click Z to A.
  5. Optionally, you can click Add Level to sort by multiple columns. For example, you could sort by last name, and then sort by first name.
  6. When you're finished, click OK.

Method 2: Sorting Columns in Excel Using the Sort Dialog Box

Another way to sort columns in Excel is to use the Sort dialog box. This dialog box gives you more options for how to sort your data. To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. Select the range of cells that you want to sort. To select a range of cells, click the first cell in the range, hold down the Shift key, and then click the last cell in the range.
  2. On the Data tab, in the Sort & Filter group, click Sort.
  3. In the Sort by list, click the column that you want to sort. For example, if you want to sort by last name, click Last Name.
  4. In the Then by list, click the column that you want to sort by next. For example, if you want to sort by last name, and then by first name, click First Name.
  5. In the Order list, click A to Z or Z to A. If you want to sort in reverse alphabetical order, click Z to A.
  6. Optionally, you can click Add Level to sort by multiple columns. For example, you could sort by last name, and then sort by first name.
  7. When you're finished, click OK.

Method 3: Sorting Columns in Excel Using the Data Tab on the Ribbon

You can also sort columns in Excel using the Data tab on the ribbon. This tab gives you a few different options for how to sort your data. To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. Select the range of cells that you want to sort. To select a range of cells, click the first cell in the range, hold down the Shift key, and then click the last cell in the range.
  2. On the Data tab, in the Sort & Filter group, click Sort.
  3. In the Sort by list, click the column that you want to sort. For example, if you want to sort by last name, click Last Name.
  4. In the Order list, click A to Z or Z to A. If you want to sort in reverse alphabetical order, click Z to A.
  5. Optionally, you can click Add Level to sort by multiple columns. For example, you could sort by last name, and then sort by first name.
  6. When you're finished, click OK.

Tips

  • If you want to sort your data in ascending or descending order, you can click the Sort A to Z or Sort Z to A button in the Sort & Filter group on the Data tab.
  • If you want to sort your data in alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order, you can click the Sort Ascending or Sort Descending button in the Sort & Filter group on the Data tab.
  • If you want to sort your data in numerical or reverse numerical order, you can click the Sort Smallest to Largest or Sort Largest to Smallest button in the Sort & Filter group on the Data tab.