Quick start: Sort data in an Excel worksheet

When sorting information in a worksheet, you can rearrange the data to find values quickly. You can sort a range or table of data on one or more columns of data. For example, you can sort employees —first by department, and then by last name.

How to sort in Excel?

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Select the data to sort    

Select a range of tabular data, such as A1:L5 (multiple rows and columns) or C1:C80 (a single column). The range can include the first row of headings that identify each column.

Example of selected data to sort in Excel
 

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Sort quickly and easily    

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

  2. On the Data tab, in the Sort & Filter group, click A to Z command in Excel that sorts A to Z or smallest number to largest to perform an ascending sort (from A to Z, or smallest number to largest).

    Sort buttons in the Sort & Filter group on the Data tab in Excel

  3. Click Z to A command in Excel that sorts Z to A or largest number to smallest to perform a descending sort (from Z to A, or largest number to smallest).

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Sort by specifying criteria    

Use this technique to choose the column you want to sort, together with other criteria such as font or cell colors.

  1. Select a single cell anywhere in the range that you want to sort.

  2. On the Data tab, in the Sort & Filter group, click Sort to display the Sort popup window.

     

    Sort command in the Sort & Filter group on the Data tab in Excel

  3. In the Sort by dropdown list, select the first column on which you want to sort.

  4. In the Sort On list, choose Values, Cell Color, Font Color, or Cell Icon.

  5. In the Order list, choose the order that you want to apply to the sort operation—alphabetically or numerically, ascending or descending (that is, from A to Z (or Z to A) for text, or lower to higher, or higher to lower for numbers).

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