Using Sort in Microsoft Excel

By | Aug 26, 2008

You have a beautiful spreadsheet that you use to track customer purchases.  Every time you get a purchase order, you enter it into the spreadsheet so you can track orders.  But your boss wants to have the spreadsheet sorted by customer name.  What do you do?  You could laboriously go through and insert a row in the appropriate place each time you get an invoice….NOT!  What you need to do is learn to use the Sort function in Excel.  It’s really quite easy.

  1. First, highlight the data to be sorted (remember to include your header rows).
  2. Next, click on “Data” on the menu bar and then choose “Sort”.  This will bring up the Sort dialogue box.

  3. If you have a header row, then make sure that is marked:

  4. Next use the drop down box under “Sort By” to choose the column by which to sort.

  5. If you want to sort by more than one column, set those columns in the 2nd and 3rd drop down boxes.
  6. When you have all your choices set, click on OK.  Voila…you have sorted data.

And that is how to use the sort function in Excel.  The great thing about this is you can resort as many times as you want.  If one person wants a sort by name and another a sort by zip code, sort it once, do your print out, and then sort it again for then second print.  And remember, you don’t have to save the sort.  You can always close the spreadsheet without saving so it saves your original order.  Later I’ll talk about using the Subtotal function on your sorted spreadsheet.

Anyone else have any tips to add for sorting in Excel?

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