Use a screen reader to sort or filter a table in Excel

Use a screen reader to sort or filter a table in Excel

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use Excel 2016 with your keyboard and a screen reader such as JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to sort and filter tables. Sorting data helps you organize and find the data that you want quickly, for faster analysis. Filtering data helps you focus on a particular set of data, which is especially useful in large worksheets.

Notes: 

In this topic

Keyboard shortcuts for sorting and filtering

This table shows keyboard shortcuts for sorting and filtering.

To do this

Press

Turn off the AutoFilter drop-down menu in a column heading

Ctrl+Shift+L

Open the AutoFilter drop-down menu from a column header

Alt+Down arrow key

Sort smallest to largest, or A to Z

Alt+A, S+A or Alt+Down arrow key, S

Sort largest to smallest, or Z to A

Alt+A, S+D or Alt+Down arrow key, O

Open the Sort dialog box

Alt+A, S+S or Alt+H, S, U

Reapply a sort after you change the data

Ctrl+Alt+L (or Alt+A, Y+3)

Filter by color

Alt+Down arrow key, I

Filter by number or text

Alt+Down arrow key, F

Open the Format Cells dialog box

Alt+H, O, I

Use the TRIM function

Alt+M, T, and then move to TRIM with the Down arrow key

Learn about sorting in Excel

You can sort data by text (A to Z or Z to A), numbers (smallest to largest or largest to smallest), and dates and times (oldest to newest or newest to oldest) in one or more columns. You can also sort by a custom list (such as Large, Medium, and Small) or by format, including cell color, font color, or icon set. Most sort operations are column sorts, but you can also sort by rows.

When you sort a table, Excel saves the criteria that you used with the workbook so that you can reapply it each time that you open the workbook. This is especially important for multicolumn sorts or for sorts that take a long time to create. However, this only works for data in a table, it doesn’t apply to just a range of cells. If you want to save sort criteria so that you can periodically reapply a sort when you open a workbook, it's a good idea to use a table.

Note: Once you sort the data, you cannot restore the original order. If you haven't saved the file after sorting, you can use undo (Ctrl+Z) to go back.

Sort text in a table or range

Sort text in a table

  1. Navigate to the header row in the table using the arrow keys. When you are on the header row, in Narrator, you hear "Header item" after the cell location.

  2. Press the Right or Left arrow key to move to the column header for the data that you want to sort.

  3. Press Alt+Down arrow key to open the filter menu, and then press the Tab key to move into the menu. In Narrator, you hear: "Menu, Sort A to Z, unchecked menu item."

  4. The options that appear depend on the kind of data in the column. For example, you can sort numeric data from Smallest to Largest or Largest to Smallest. You can sort alphanumeric data from A to Z, from Z to A, or by color.

    Use the Down arrow key to browse the options, and press Enter to select an option. In Narrator, you hear "Sorted," followed by the selected option.

Sort text in a range

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a column of alphanumeric data in a range of cells, or to a table column containing alphanumeric data.

  2. Press Alt+A. The Data tab opens, and you hear: “Upper ribbon, Group box, Data tab.” In Narrator, you hear: “Ribbon tabs, Selected, Data tab item.” Do one of the following:

    • To sort in ascending alphanumeric order (Sort A to Z), press S+A.

    • To sort in descending alphanumeric order (Sort Z to A), press S+D.

Make a case sensitive sort

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a column of alphanumeric data in a range of cells, or to a table column containing alphanumeric data.

  2. Press Alt+H, S, U. The Sort dialog opens, and in Narrator you hear: “Sort, OK button.” In JAWS, you hear: “Sort dialog, OK button.”

  3. Press Alt+O to open the Sort Options dialog. In Narrator, you hear: “Sort options. Unchecked, Case sensitive check box.” In JAWS, you hear: “Sort options dialog, Case sensitive checkbox, not checked.”

  4. Press Spacebar to select the Case sensitive check box.

  5. Press Enter. The Sort Options dialog closes, and in Narrator you hear: “Sort, Options button.” In JAWS, you hear: “Sort dialog.”

  6. To close the Sort dialog and apply your changes, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and press Enter.

  7. Sort text as explained in Sort text in a range.

Tip: If the column you sort contains a mixture of numbers and text, you might have to format them all as text. Otherwise, Excel sorts the numbers as numbers first, and then sorts the text. To format the data, press Ctrl+Spacebar to select all the data in the column, and then press Alt+H, F, N. Press the Left arrow key until you hear "Selected, Number tab item," press the Tab key once, and then press the Down arrow key until you hear: "Text". Press the Tab key once to move to the OK button, and press Enter.

Tips: 

  • When you import or copy data from a different location, it can have leading spaces inserted before data. For example, the name "Sue Lidman" might be entered as "(space)(space)Sue Lidman".

  • If you use a screen reader, you might not know about the spaces, because JAWS doesn’t read empty space in cells.

  • To help you find them, Excel places cells that have leading spaces at the top of a sorted column.

Sort numbers

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a column of numeric data in a range of cells, or to a table column containing numeric data.

  2. Press Alt+A. The Data tab opens, and in Narrator you hear: “Ribbon tabs, Selected, Data tab item.” In JAWS, you hear: “Upper ribbon, Group box, Data tab.” Do one of the following:

    • To sort from Smallest to Largest, press S+A.

    • To sort from Largest to Smallest, press S+D.

Check that numbers are stored as numbers

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a column of numeric data in a range of cells, or to a table column containing numeric data, and then press Ctrl+Spacebar to select all the data in the column.

  2. Press Alt+H, F+N. The Format Cells dialog opens, and in Narrator you hear: “Format cells.” In JAWS, you hear: “Format Cells dialog.”

  3. To move to the Number tab, use the Left arrow key (or press Ctrl+Tab). In Narrator, you hear: "Number tab item." In JAWS, you hear: “Number tab.”

  4. Press the Tab key. The Category list opens, and you hear the currently selected category, such as "General" or "Date."

  5. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear: “Number.”

  6. Press the Tab key. In Narrator, you hear "Decimal places," followed by the number of decimal places currently used. If you want to change this value, type the new number of decimal places. To remove decimals completely, type 0.

  7. To close the Format Cells dialog and apply your changes, press the Tab key until you hear "OK button," and press Enter.

Sort dates and times

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a column of dates or times in a range of cells, or to a table column containing dates or times.

  2. Press Alt+A. The Data tab opens, and in Narrator, you hear: “Ribbon tabs, Selected, Data tab.” In JAWS, you hear: “Upper ribbon, Group box, Data tab.” In Do one of the following:

    • To sort from Oldest to Newest, press S+A.

    • To sort from Newest to Oldest, press S+D.

    • To reapply a sort after you change the data, select a cell in the range or table and then press Ctrl+Alt+L.

Sort by more than one column

You may want to sort by more than one column or row when you have data that you want to group by the same value in one column or row, and then sort another column or row within that group of equal values. For example, if you have a Department column and an Employee column, you can first sort by Department (to group all the employees in the same department together), and then sort by name (to put the names in alphabetical order within each department). You can sort by up to 64 columns.

Note: For best results, the range of cells that you sort should have column headings. To sort by rows, make sure the My table has headings check box is cleared in the Sort dialog. Press Alt+H, S, U to open the Sort dialog, and press the Tab key until you hear: "Checked, My data has headers check box" or "Unchecked, My data has headers check box." If you need to clear the check box, press Spacebar, press the Tab key until you hear "OK, button," and press Enter to apply the change.

  1. Use the arrow keys to navigate to a range of cells with two or more columns of data, or to a table with two or more columns.

  2. Press Alt+A, S+S. The Sort dialog box opens, and in Narrator you hear: “Sort, OK button.” In JAWS, you hear: “Sort dialog, OK button.”

  3. Press the Tab key until you find the Column: Sort by combo box. In Narrator, you hear "Sort by, <column name>, editable combo box." Use the Up and Down arrow keys to select the first column that you want to sort.

  4. Press the Tab key until you find the Sort On combo box. In Narrator, you hear "Sort on, Cell Values, editable combo box." If you don't hear "Cell Values," press the Up and Down arrow keys to until you do.

  5. To select how you want to sort the cell values, press the Tab key until you find the Order combo box. In Narrator, you hear "Order, <Currently selected option>, editable combo box." Use the Up and Down arrow keys to select A to Z, Z to A, Smallest to Largest, or Largest to Smallest.

  6. To add another column to sort by, use the Tab key to move to the Add Level button, press Enter, and then repeat steps three through five.

    Note: The Sort By combo box is called Then By for the additional columns.

  7. To reapply a column sort after you change the data, select a cell in the range or table and then press Ctrl+Alt+L.

    Note: Ctrl+Alt+L does not reapply a row sort.

Tips for issues with sorting

If you get unexpected results when sorting your data:

  • Check to see if the values returned by a formula have changed. If the data that you have sorted contains one or more formulas, the return values of those formulas might change when the worksheet is recalculated. In this case, make sure that you reapply the sort to get up-to-date results.

  • Unhide rows and columns before you sort. Hidden columns are not moved when you sort columns, and hidden rows are not moved when you sort rows. Before you sort data, it's a good idea to unhide the hidden columns and rows.

  • Check the locale setting. Sort orders vary by locale setting. Make sure that you have the proper locale setting in Regional Settings or Regional and Language Options in Control Panel on your computer.

  • Turn on or off the heading row. It's usually best to have a heading row when you sort a column to make it easier to understand the meaning of the data. By default, the value in the heading is not included in the sort operation. Occasionally, you may need to turn the heading on or off so that the value in the heading is or is not included in the sort operation.

  • To exclude the first row of data from the sort because it’s a column heading, press Alt+H, S, U. In the Custom Sort dialog box, select the My data has headers check box.

  • To include the first row of data in the sort because it is not a column heading, press Alt+H, S, U. In the Custom Sort dialog box, clear the My data has headers check box.

Filter data in a table

When you put your data in a table, Excel automatically adds an AutoFilter drop-down menu to each column header. You can open this menu to filter quickly. To remove the AutoFilter drop-down menu from a column heading, select the header and then press Ctrl+Shift+L.

  1. In the table header of the column you want to filter, press Alt+Down arrow key. The AutoFilter drop-down menu opens, and in Narrator you hear: “Menu.” In JAWS, you hear: “Context menu.”

  2. On the AutoFilter menu, if the column has numbers, use the Down arrow key to move to Number Filters and press Enter. If the column has text entries, move to Text Filters and press Enter. The submenu opens, and you hear “Equals.”

  3. To move to the filtering option you want, use the arrow keys and press Enter. The Custom AutoFilter dialog box opens, and in Narrator you hear: “Custom AutoFilter.” In JAWS, you hear: “Custom AutoFilter dialog.”

  4. Type or select your filtering conditions.

    For example, to show numbers above a certain amount, select Greater Than Or Equal To and then enter the number you have in mind in the next combo box.

    To filter by two conditions, enter filtering conditions in both sets of edit combo boxes, and then pick And for both conditions to be true, or pick Or for either of the conditions to be true.

  5. To close the dialog box, press the Tab key until you find the OK button, and press Enter.

Filter data in a range

  1. Select the cells you want to filter. Navigate to the cell which you want to be the top left cell of the selection, then hold down Shift and use the Right and Down arrow keys to expand the selected range of cells.

  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+L. Excel adds an AutoFilter drop-down menu to the first cell of each column in the range.

  3. Select the cell with the AutoFilter drop-down menu. Press Alt+Down arrow key. The AutoFilter drop-down menu opens, and in Narrator you hear: “Menu.” In JAWS, you hear: “Context menu.”

  4. Use the arrow keys and the Tab key to move to the filtering options you want. Use Spacebar to clear or check a filter value check box.

  5. When you’ve made your selections, press Enter to apply the filter.

To clear the filter and remove the AutoFilter drop-down menus, select any cell in the range and press Ctrl+Shift+L.

See also

Use a screen reader to title a table in Excel

Use a screen reader to create column headers in a table in Excel

Excel keyboard shortcuts and function keys for Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Excel using accessible features

Use Excel 2016 for Mac with your keyboard and a screen reader such as Voiceover, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to filter data in a range or table. Filtering data helps you focus on a particular set of data, which is especially useful in large worksheets.

Notes: 

In this topic

Filter data in a table

When you filter data in a table, the filtering controls automatically get added to the table headers.

  1. Navigate to the first cell in the data range you want to filter.

  2. Press Fn+F8 to turn on the capability to extend your selection using the arrow keys. Then, use the arrow keys to select all the data needed for your range.

    Notes: Alternatively, you may use these keyboard shortcuts to select specific portions of your worksheet:

    • Press Command+A to select the entire worksheet.

    • Press Command+A +* (asterisk sign) to select only the visible cells.

    • Press Control+Spacebar to select an entire column.

    • Press Shift+Spacebar to select an entire row.

  3. Press Fn+F6 to begin navigating through the ribbon tabs.

  4. Use the Left and Right arrow keys to toggle through the tabs until you hear “Home tab.” Then, press Control+Option+Down arrow key to access the Home tab options.

  5. Press the Tab key to scroll through the options until you hear “Format as a table,” and press Return.

  6. You hear the range of cells included in the table you’re creating. Then, you hear: “My table has headers, unchecked checkbox.” Press Spacebar to check the check box if you want Excel 2016 for Mac to add placeholder headers above the data in your table. You can rename the headers later.

  7. Press the Tab key once. You hear: “Okay, button.” Press Return. You hear: “Table created.”

  8. To apply a filter, press Fn+F6 until you hear: “Worksheet.”

  9. Use the arrow keys to navigate to the header of the column data you want to filter.

  10. Press Spacebar. You hear: “Filter, popup menu.”

  11. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse through the main filter options. Press Control+Option+Down arrow key to select a filter and open the popup menu for that option.

  12. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to browse through your options. Press Spacebar to make a selection.

  13. Press the Tab key once. Enter your filter criteria in the text box, or select the appropriate check box or radio button by pressing Spacebar.

  14. Press Return. You should hear: “Filter applied.”

Filter data in a range

It is also possible to filter data in a range. For the best results, each column should have a header.

  1. Navigate to the first cell in the range of data you want to filter by using the arrow keys until you hear the data in the cell needed.

  2. Press Fn+F8 to turn on the capability to extend your selection using the arrow keys. Then, use the arrow keys to select all the data needed for your range.

    Notes: Alternatively, you may use these keyboard shortcuts to select specific portions of your worksheet:

    • Press Command+A to select the entire worksheet.

    • Press Command+A+* (asterisk sign) to select only the visible cells.

    • Press Control+Spacebar to select an entire column.

    • Press Shift+Spacebar to select an entire row.

  3. Press Fn+F6 to open the ribbon tabs.

  4. Press Left or Right arrow key until you hear, “Data tab.” Then, press Control+Option+Down arrow key to open the Data tab options.

  5. Press the Tab key to move forward through the options until you hear: “Filter.” Then, press Spacebar to open the Filter dialog box.

  6. Press the Tab key to browse through the filter options. Press Spacebar to make a selection and open the Custom Filter dialog box.

  7. Press the Tab key to browse through the options available for the filter you selected. Enter the necessary criteria, or use Spacebar to check or uncheck the options as needed.

  8. Press the Tab key until you hear: “Okay, button.” Press Return. You should hear: “Filter applied.”

Filtering options for ranges and tables

Excel 2016 for Mac lets you apply a general filter option, which then lets you customize the filter to meet your needs.

When you choose a main filter type, you hear the Custom Filter options available for that specific filter. You hear number ranges and options for Number Filters, color options for Color Filters, and text for Text Filters. (The numbers, colors, or text options come from the data you’re filtering.)

Text Filters options

  • Equals/Does Not Equal: Filters column data to display or hide the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Begins With/Ends With: Filters column data to display data that begins with or ends with the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Contains/Does Not Contain: Filters column data to display or hide data that includes the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

Number Filters options

  • Equals/Does Not Equal: Filters column data to display or hide the exact number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Greater Than/Less Than: Filters column data to display all numbers with a greater or lesser value than the number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Between: Filters column data to display all numbers within a specific numerical range typed into the two text boxes provided in the Custom Filter dialog box.

    Note: To use this option, input the beginning number for your range, press the Tab key once, then enter the end number for your range.

  • Top 10: Filters the column data to display the top 10 (highest or lowest) numerical values or percentages. To use this filter, press Spacebar to select the Top 10 filter. When the dialog box opens, you hear: “Focus on editing 10.” This option automatically filters the highest numbers.

    Note: If you want to filter the lowest numbers or percentages, press the Tab key until you hear: “Top editable combo box.” Press Control+Option+Down arrow key to open the popup menu. Press the Down arrow key until you hear: “Bottom.” Then, press Spacebar. To filter percentages instead of numerical values, press the Tab key until you hear: “Percentage, radio button.” Then, press Spacebar.

  • Above/Below Average: Filters column data to display numerical values that are above or below the average value of all the numbers in the column.

Color Filters options

  • Filter by Font Color: Filters the column data to include the cells containing data written in the specific font colors you’ve selected. When you open the dialog box, you hear the numerical value (RGB value) of the first font color displayed in your column. Use the Up and Down Arrow keys to toggle between the available colors, pressing Control+Spacebar to select the colors you want.

  • Filter by Cell Color: Filters the column data to include the cells that are filled with specific colors. When you open the dialog box, you hear the RGB value of the first cell color displayed in your column. Use the Up and Down arrow keys to toggle between the available colors, pressing Control+Spacebar to select colors.

  • Automatic: Choose this option to display cells containing data written in Excel 2016 for Mac’s default font color, black.

  • No Fill: Choose this option to display cells without a custom background color — this displays cells featuring the default white background.

See also

Use a screen reader to print an Excel workbook

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel 2016 for Mac

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel 2016 for Mac

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Excel using accessible features

Use Excel with VoiceOver, the built-in iOS screen reader, to sort data in a range or table. Sorting data helps you organize and find the data that you want.

Notes: 

  1. In your worksheet that contains a table or a range of data, place the focus somewhere in the table column or sheet column which contains the data you want to sort by.

  2. Tap near the top of the screen with four fingers to move the focus to the workbook title bar, swipe right until you hear "Show ribbon," and then double-tap the screen. You hear the name of the current tab, for example, "Home, tab."

  3. Double-tap the screen to open the tab menu, swipe right or left until you hear "Data, tab," and then double-tap the screen.

  4. To sort the data alphabetically or numerically, swipe right until you hear "Sort Ascending, button" or "Sort Descending, button," depending on what you want to do, and then double-tap the screen. The table or range of data is sorted. If the active column contains text only or a combination of text and numbers, your data is sorted alphabetically. If the active column contains numbers only, your data is sorted by value. Data sorts from smallest to largest if you choose Sort Ascending and from largest to smallest if you choose Sort Descending.

  5. To close the ribbon and return the focus to the worksheet, swipe left until you hear "Hide ribbon, button," and double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to print an Excel workbook

Use an external keyboard with Excel for iPad

Use an external keyboard with Excel for iPhone

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Excel using accessible features

Use Excel for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to sort and filter tables. Sorting helps you organize and analyze data. Filtering data is especially helpful when your worksheets contain large amounts of data.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with an Android phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an Android tablet.

In this topic

Sort data in Excel

You can sort textual and numeric data in an Excel worksheet to arrange it in a specific order, such as texts from A to Z or Z to A, numbers from smallest to largest or largest to smallest, and dates and times from earlier to later or later to earlier.

Note: Once you sort the data, you cannot restore the original order.

  1. Tap somewhere in the Excel sheet. TalkBack announces the selected cell.

  2. Swipe left or right until you are in the column you want to sort. Double-tap to activate the selection.

  3. To explore by touch, slowly drag one finger around the upper part of the screen until TalkBack announces: "More options button." The focus is now on the button and you can lift your finger.

  4. Double-tap anywhere on the screen to activate the button. TalkBack announces: "Tab menu, Home selected." On the lower part of the screen, swipe up with two fingers repeatedly, until you reach the end of the list. TalkBack plays sounds when you swipe, and stays silent when you have reached the end of the list.

  5. Explore the list by dragging one finger on the lower part of the screen. TalkBack announces the list items as you drag your finger.

  6. When TalkBack announces “Sort and Filter menu,” lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

  7. Explore the list by dragging one finger on the lower part of the screen. Talkback announces the list items as you drag your finger.

    • Select Sort Ascending to sort alphanumeric data from A to Z, or from smallest to largest, or to sort dates and times from earlier to later. TalkBack announces: “Sort Ascending, not checked switch.”

    • Select Sort Descending to sort alphanumeric data from Z to A, or from largest to smallest, or to sort dates and times from later to earlier. Talkback announces: “Sort Descending, not checked switch.”

    When you find the option you want, lift your finger, and then double-tap. The items are sorted accordingly.

  8. To return to the worksheet, swipe right until you hear: “Checked more options switch.” The More Options button is now selected, double-tap to activate it.

Sort a range of cells

If there are empty cells in your workbook, you can select a range first, and then sort the range.

  1. In the workbook, slowly drag one finger around the upper part of the screen until TalkBack announces: "More options button". The focus is now on the button and you can lift your finger.

  2. Double-tap anywhere on the screen to activate the button. TalkBack announces: "Tab menu, Home selected."

  3. On the lower part of the screen, swipe up with two fingers repeatedly, until you reach the end of the list. TalkBack plays sounds when you swipe, and stays silent when you have reached the end of the list.

  4. Explore the list by dragging one finger on the lower part of the screen. TalkBack announces the list items as you drag your finger.

  5. When TalkBack announces “Select Range,” lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

  6. The Select Cell or Range dialog opens, and the focus is in the range field. Type the range you want to select, such as “A1:C15”. Drag your finger on the screen until you hear TalkBack announce “OK button”. Lift your finger and double-tap. The range is now selected.

  7. Drag one finger around the upper part of the screen until TalkBack announces: “More options button”. Lift your finger and double-tap to activate the button.

  8. Explore the list on the lower part of the screen by dragging one finger on the items. When TalkBack announces “Sort and Filter menu”, lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

  9. Explore the list by dragging one finger on the lower part of the screen. Talkback announces the list items as you drag your finger.

    • Select Sort Ascending to sort alphanumeric data from A to Z, or from smallest to largest, or to sort dates and times from earlier to later. TalkBack announces: “Sort Ascending, not checked switch.”

    • Select Sort Descending to sort alphanumeric data from Z to A, or from largest to smallest, or to sort dates and times from later to earlier. Talkback announces: “Sort Descending, not checked switch.”

    When you find the option you want, lift your finger, and then double-tap. The items are sorted accordingly.

Format data

Sometimes you may need to reformat the data to get the right results when sorting.

  1. Navigate to the cell or column you want to format. Double-tap to activate the selection.

  2. To explore by touch, slowly drag one finger around the upper part of the screen until TalkBack announces: "More options button." The focus is now on the button and you can lift your finger.

  3. Double-tap anywhere on the screen to activate the button. TalkBack announces: "Tab menu, Home selected." On the lower part of the screen, swipe up with two fingers to scroll down the list.

  4. Explore the list by dragging one finger on the lower part of the screen. TalkBack announces the list items as you drag your finger.

  5. When TalkBack announces: “Number Format menu,” lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

  6. Explore the list by dragging one finger on the lower part of the screen. Talkback announces the list items as you drag your finger.

    You can choose from the following formats: General, Number, Currency, Accounting, Date, Time, Percentage, Fraction, Scientific, Text, and Special. When you find the format you want to use, lift your finger and double-tap to apply it.

Tips for resolving issues with sorting

If you get unexpected results when sorting your data, check the following:

  • If the data you have sorted contains one or more formulas, the return values of those formulas might change when the worksheet is recalculated. In this case, make sure that you sort again to get up-to-date results.

  • Hidden columns are not moved when you sort columns, and hidden rows are not moved when you sort rows. Before you sort data, it's a good idea to unhide the hidden columns and rows. To unhide, in the Excel workbook:

    1. Navigate to a row or column next to a hidden column or row. TalkBack announces: “Adjacent to hidden cells.”

    2. Drag your finger to move up to the column header, or left to the row number, and lift your finger. Double-tap to select the entire column or row.

    3. Double-tap again to open the menu.

    4. Swipe right until you hear: “Unhide button.” Double-tap to unhide. TalkBack announces your current location in the workbook and the column or row is unhidden.

  • Check the locale setting on your phone. Sorting results can vary depending on the locale setting.

Filter data in a table

By inserting data in a table in Excel, you can use filters to quickly find values that meet your criteria.

  1. In Excel, drag your finger on the screen until you reach the table. TalkBack announces the selected cell.

  2. Swipe left or right until you are in the header of the table you want to filter. You can also drag your finger around the screen to find the header.

  3. Slowly drag one finger around the upper part of the screen until TalkBack announces: "More options button." The focus is now on the button and you can lift your finger.

  4. Double-tap anywhere on the screen to activate the button. TalkBack announces: "Tab menu, Home selected." On the lower part of the screen, swipe up with two fingers repeatedly, until you reach the end of the list. TalkBack plays sounds when you swipe, and stays silent when you have reached the end of the list.

  5. Explore the list by dragging one finger on the lower part of the screen. TalkBack announces the list items as you drag your finger.

  6. When TalkBack announces “Sort and Filter menu,” lift your finger and double-tap the screen.

  7. Explore the list by dragging one finger on the lower part of the screen. Talkback announces the list items as you drag your finger. When you reach Show Filter Buttons, lift your finger, and double-tap.

  8. To return to the worksheet, drag your finger on the upper part of the screen until you hear TalkBack announce the table header.

  9. Swipe right once to reach the filter button. TalkBack announces the location, such as: “Column zero, row zero header, no filter applied”. Swipe left to go to the next item. TalkBack announces: “Filter applied.” Lift your finger and double-tap.

  10. The Sort and Filter menu opens. Swipe right until TalkBack announces “Filter items button," and double-tap the screen. The focus is in the search field. Double-tap to activate the search field and to bring up the keyboard on the lower part of the screen.

  11. Drag your finger across the on-screen keyboard to type the criteria you want to filter with.

  12. When done, drag your finger on the upper part of the screen until you hear TalkBack announce the correct criteria. Lift your finger and double-tap to select.

  13. Drag your finger on the screen until TalkBack announces the Done button (in the upper right-hand corner). Lift your finger and double-tap.

  14. The Filter Items menu closes and you return to the table with the selected filter criteria applied.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert a table in an Excel worksheet

Use an external keyboard with Excel for Android

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Excel using accessible features

Use Excel for Windows Phone 10 with an external keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to place and filter data in a range or table. Filtering data helps you focus on a particular set of data, which is especially useful in large worksheets.

Notes: 

In this topic

Filter data in a range

  1. Select the range of data you want to filter.

  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+L to place a Filter and Sort drop-down menu arrow in the first row of each column you selected. Once the drop-down menu arrow appears, you hear the column letter and row number of the active cell and "No filter applied."

  3. The process of filtering your data varies depending on the document's header status:

    • If each column you selected contains header text, proceed to the first step in the Filter data in a table section below to filter your data.

    • If the columns you selected do not contain header text, you must first place the data in a table before using the Filter and Sort menu to filter the data in each column.

    Note: If the data you select does not contain headers and you do not put the data in a table, the first cell of each column is treated as a header, and the filter does not include the data in those cells.

Place data in a table

  1. Select the data you want to filter.

  2. Press Ctrl+L to open the Create Table dialog box. You hear "Create table" and the range of cells you selected. Verify that the range of selected cells is correct.

  3. The process of placing data in the table depends on the document's header status:

    • If your data does not have headers, simply press Enter after opening the Create Table dialog box to place your data.

    • If your data has headers, press the Tab key until you hear "Unchecked my table has headers checkbox." Press Spacebar to check the box, then press Enter to place your data.

    Note: If a table does not have headers, Excel for Windows Phone 10 creates them by inserting placeholder texts in the first row. Default placeholder text are Column 1, Column 2, Column 3, etc. Change the name of the header text by using the arrow keys to move to the appropriate cell and typing the new header name.

Filter data in a table

  1. Select the header cell of the column you want to filter. You hear the column letter, row number, "selected, editable," the cell content, "no filter applied, menu item."

  2. Press Alt+Down arrow key to reveal the Filter and Sort drop-down menu. You can also select the arrow in the far right corner of the header cell to access the menu. You hear "Custom control" when the menu opens.

  3. Press the Down arrow key in the submenu until you hear the filter you want to apply to your data, then press Enter. A Custom Filter dialog box opens with filter options. Press the Tab key to move between fields in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  4. To filter your data, press the Down arrow key in the Filter and Sort menu until you hear "Text Filters" or "Number Filters." If the data in the active column contains text only or a combination of text and numbers, a Text Filters option is available on the menu. If the data in the column contains numbers only, there is instead a Number Filters option on the menu. You can also choose Filter by Color or Sort by color if the data you want to sort or filter contains a colored font or if your cells feature different colors. A submenu opens once you make your selection.

    Note: To sort data in a column alphabetically in ascending order, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Sort A to Z," then press Enter. Sort the data alphabetically in descending order by pressing the Down arrow key until you hear "Sort Z to A," then press Enter. You have the option to sort alphabetically if the active column contains text only or a combination of text and numbers. To sort numeric column data in ascending order, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Smallest to Largest," then press Enter. Sort numeric data in descending order by pressing the Down arrow key until you hear "Largest to Smallest," then press Enter. You have the option to sort numerically if the active column contains numbers only.

Filtering options for tables

Text Filters options

  • Equals - Filters column to display the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Does Not Equal - Filters column to display everything except the text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Begins With - Filters column to display data that begins with the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. The text can have any ending.

  • Ends With - Filters column to display data that ends with the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. The text can have any beginning.

  • Contains - Filters column to display data that includes the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Does Not Contain - Filters column to display data that does not include the text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Custom Filter - Allows you to choose the filter you want to apply to your data from a drop-down menu. To use this option, you must first type the text you want to filter. Next, press Tab until you hear "Editable combo box." Press Alt+Down arrow key to view the drop-down menu. Use the Down arrow key to select your desired filter, then press Enter. You hear "Filter applied" once the action is complete.

Number Filters options

  • Equals - Filters column to display the exact number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Does Not Equal - Filters column to display all numbers except the exact number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Greater Than - Filters column to display all numbers with a greater value than the number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Less Than - Filters column to display all numbers with a lesser value than the number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Between - Filters column to display all numbers within a specific numerical range. Input the range in the two provided Custom Filter dialog boxes.

  • Top 10 - Filters column to display numbers with the highest or lowest numerical values or percentages. You hear the name of the active cell and "Focus on editing 10" when the dialog box opens. The dialog box defaults to the top 10 numbers (called items), but you can change this number to any value. To filter percentages instead of numbers, press Tab until you hear "Items," then press Alt+Down arrow key. Press the Down arrow key. When you hear "Percentage," press Enter. To filter bottom numbers or percentages, Tab until you hear "Top editable combo box." Press Alt+Down arrow key. Then, press the Down arrow key to select "Bottom," then press Enter.

  • Above Average - Filters column to display the numbers that are above the average value of all numbers in the column.

  • Below Average - Filters column to display the numbers that are below the average value of all numbers in the colu

  • Filter by Font Color - Filters active column to display the font color you select from the submenu. When the menu opens, you immediately hear the RGB value of the first font color in your column. Press Enter to choose this color, or press the Down arrow key until you hear the RGB value of the color you want.

  • Filter by Cell Color - Filters active column to display the cell color you select from the submenu. When the menu opens, you immediately hear the RGB value of the first cell color in your column. Press Enter to choose this color, or press the Down arrow key until you hear the RGB value of the color you want.

  • Automatic - Filters active column to display cells containing Excel's default font color, black.

  • No Fill - Filters active column to display cells without color. These cells feature Excel's default white background and black font.

Sort by Color options

  • Sort by Cell Color - Sorts active column by cell color. This option places cells featuring the color you select from the submenu first in the column.

  • Sort by Font Color - Sorts active column cell by font color. This option places cells featuring the font color you select first in the column.

  • Automatic - Places cells with Excel's default font color, black, first in the column.

  • Custom Sort - Use this option to sort data however you wish. For example, you can sort alphabetically first, then by numeric value, then by font color, then by cell co

See also

Use a screen reader to print an Excel workbook

Use keyboard shortcuts with an external keyboard in Excel Mobile for Windows 10

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Learn how to navigate in Excel using accessible features

Use Excel Online with your keyboard and a screen reader such as JAWS or Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to place and filter data in a table. Filtering data helps you focus on a particular set of data, which is especially useful in large worksheets.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in Excel Online.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic makes note of the JAWS functionality as well. To learn more about JAWS for Windows, go to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

  • When you use Excel Online, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Excel Online runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Excel Online.

In this topic

Place data in a table

  1. Select the data you want to filter.

  2. Press Ctrl+L to open the Create Table dialog box. You should hear "Dialog create table focus on OK button."

  3. If your table contains no headers, simply press Enter after opening the Create Table dialog box.

  4. If your table has headers, press the Tab key until you hear "Unchecked my table has headers checkbox." Hit Spacebar to check the box, then press Enter.

    If your table contains no headers, Excel Online creates them by inserting placeholder texts in the first row. Default placeholder text are Column 1, Column 2, Column 3, etc. Change the name of the header text by clicking on it and entering the name you want.

Filter data in a table

  1. Select the header cell of the column you want to filter.

  2. Press Alt+Down arrow key to open the Filter and Sort drop-down menu. You can also select the arrow to the right of the header cell to access the menu.

  3. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Text Filters" or "Number Filters,"then press Enter to access the submenu. You hear "Text Filters" if the column contains only text or a combination of text and numbers. You hear "Number Filters" if the column only contains numbers.

  4. Press the Down arrow key in the submenu until you hear the name of the filter you want to apply to your data, then press Enter. A Custom Filter dialog box opens for each filter option. You hear "Dialog custom filter focus on editing" when the dialog box opens, and you hear "Filter applied" once the action is complete.

    Press the Tab key to move between fields in the Custom Filter dialog, including the And/Or radio buttons.

  5. Clear an applied filter by first selecting the header cell of the column you want to reset. If you select cell A1, for example, press Alt+Down arrow key to expose the drop-down menu, then press the Down arrow key until you hear "Clear filter from Column 1." Press Enter. You hear "No filter applied" when the action is complete. If you renamed the header text for cell A1, you hear the name of the header instead of "Column 1."

Filtering options for tables

Number Filters options

  • Equals - Filters column to display the exact number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Does Not Equal - Filters column to display all numbers except the exact number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. 

  • Greater Than - Filters column to display all numbers with a greater value than the number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. 

  • Less Than - Filters column to display all numbers with a lesser value than the number you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. 

  • Between - Filters column to display all numbers within a specific numerical range. Input the range in the two provided Custom Filter dialog boxes. 

  • Top 10 - Filters column to display numbers with the highest or lowest numerical values or percentages. You hear the name of the active cell and "Focus on editing 10" when the dialog box opens. The dialog box defaults to the top 10 numbers (called items), but you can change this number to any value. To filter percentages instead of numbers, press the Tab key until you hear "Items," then press Alt+Down arrow key. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Percentage," then press Enter. To filter bottom numbers or percentages, press the Tab key until you hear "Top editable combo box." Press Alt+Down arrow key. Then, press the Down arrow key to select "Bottom," then press Enter.

  • Above Average - Filters column to display the numbers that are above the average value of all numbers in the column.

  • Below Average - Filters column to display the numbers that are below the average value of all numbers in the column.

  • Custom Filter - Use this option to choose the filter you want to apply to your numerical data from a drop-down menu. To use this option, you must first type the number you want to filter into the dialog box. Next, press Tab until you hear "Editable combo box." Press Alt+Down arrow key to view the drop-down menu. Use the Down arrow key to select your desired filter, then press Enter. You hear "Filter applied" once the action is complete.

Text Filters options

  • Equals - Filters column to display the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Does Not Equal - Filters column to display everything except the text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Begins With - Filters column to display data that begins with the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. The text can have any ending.

  • Ends With - Filters column to display data that ends with the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box. The text can have any beginning.

  • Contains - Filters column to display data that includes the exact text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Does Not Contain - Filters column to display data that does not include the text you type in the Custom Filter dialog box.

  • Custom Filter - Allows you to choose the filter you want to apply to your data from a drop-down menu. To use this option, you must first type the text you want to filter. Next, press Tab until you hear "Editable combo box." Press Alt+Down arrow key to view the drop-down menu. Use the Down arrow key to select your desired filter, then press Enter. You hear "Filter applied" once the action is complete.

See also

Use a screen reader to find and replace data in Excel

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel Online

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Make your Excel spreadsheets accessible

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×