Sorting Data In Excel For Spreadsheet Clarity

Sorting Data In Excel For Spreadsheet Clarity

When the Excel sheet has a large amount of data, it is difficult to handle it. Creating a well-arranged and visually appealing Excel sheet is important for better data management. That’s why sorting data in Excel is necessary, as it makes their search easier and faster. 

Sorting data in Excel

Sorting data in Excel is rearranging the list of elements concerning the data to be placed in ascending or descending order. A text column is sorted in alphabetical order. 

Have you noticed data and time can also be sorted?

Yes! It can be sorted from oldest to newest or newest to oldest. Excel data can also be sorted using the custom list by mentioning the data of the list. It is also sorted through the text color and font color.  

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How to perform sorting data in Excel?

For sorting data in Excel, you need to follow mentioned steps:

  • Start by preparing a series of data having various entries having numeric data as well as text. Let’s take an example, you have to prepare an Excel sheet of 5 students having their names, roll no, marks, and grades. 

This is the spreadsheet of 5 students.

  • To sort the data in the desired format, go to the home tab. The sort and filter option is on the right side of the desktop window. 
  • Select the data and then click on the sort option.
  • You will see three options appear on the screen. The first option is to sort the data in alphabetical order from A to Z. The second option is to sort the data in reverse order from Z to A. Then Click on the option you want to choose.
  • To sort the Excel data with a header, choose the sort option. Fill in the required field as required by the user and hit ok.   
  • The data is sorted according to the selected input.

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Benefits of sorting data in Excel: 

There are various benefits of sorting data in Excel: 

  • Systematic representation: Sorting allows the data to be represented in a systematic manner which makes it more visually appealing.
  • A better understanding of Data: It presents the data in a sorted manner that helps in data decoding and understanding become easy. 
  • Easy to analyze: Sorting helps the Excel user easily analyze the result. When the data is organized and sorted, it gives absolute results instantly. You don’t require more time to analyze the sheet.

If you want to know how the student list is arranged according to Roll No., it will be arranged in ascending order. The above list can also be sorted according to the students’ marks. 

There are two ways to sort the data in the Excel sheet: 

  • Sorting a Single Column In Excel
  • Sorting by multiple columns

Sorting a Single Column In Excel:

For sorting Data in Excel you can go with two processes: 

Before that, convert the Excel data into the table format.

  • Select the data and use the shortcut key Ctrl+Shift+L to sort one column.
  • Select the required list and click on the drop-down arrow. Select the option from largest to smallest. 

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What are the Various Data sorting techniques in Excel?

The sorting technique can be applied in various ways. It is important to decide whether to sort the entire worksheet or just a cell range. 

  • Sorting the sheet organizes all the data in your worksheet in one column. All the information is kept together when sorting is applied. We will see the example below, the contact ID column has been sorted to display the names in alphabetical order.

To sort a sheet

  • Let’s look at the example of the sheet sorting. 
  • Select the cell within the table you want to sort. 
  • Go to the Data tab in the ribbon. Click on the A-Z command to sort A-Z or Z-A command to sort according to your sorting choice. 

The worksheet will be sorted according to the selected column. 

  • Sorting the range of the data is helpful when you are working with a sheet that contains several tables.  Sorting the range will not affect the other table content on the worksheet.

To sort a range

Let’s look at the example of range sorting.

  • Select the range of the cell you want to sort. 
  • Choose the Data tab within the ribbon and click the sort option.
  • The sorting dialog box appears. Select the drop-down option to choose from the “Sort by” list. Choose the drop-down option and select your desired choices. 
  • Decide the sorting order according to your requirements. 
  • Once you are satisfied, then click ok. 
  • The list will be successfully sorted. 

Custom Sorting

Sometimes you can’t sort the data in Excel according to your requirements. To solve this issue, Excel allows you to create a custom list to define your sorting order. 

To create a custom Sort: 

  • Select the cell in the column you want to sort.
  • Then select the DATA tab within the ribbon. In the Sort and Filter section, choose the sort command. 
  • The sort dialog box appears. Select the column you want to sort and choose Custom List from the order drop-down box. 
  • The custom List dialog box appears. Select the new list from the box. 
  • Type the items you want in the custom order within the list. Press the Enter Key. 
  • Click on the Add to save the new sort order. The new list is added to the custom list box. Make sure the new list is selected and then press ok.

The worksheet data will sort the custom order according to your requirement. 

We will understand this using one Example:

Sorting data in Excel

Check this table. This is a T-shirt order form. We have to sort this table according to the size of the T-shirt. To do so, we have to use a Custom table. 

  • Select the cell within the t-shirt column. 
  • Go to the Data tab. Click on the sort option within the sort&filter section. 
  • A dialog box appears. Choose the option present in the drop-down arrow within the “Sort by” command. 
  • Check the 3rd command which indicates for ORDER drop-down arrow. 
Sorting data in Excel

Sorting data in Excel

  • Click on the custom list. A dialog box appears. Click on Custom list. Select the New List option. Enter the name of the list entries. Click on the Add option and select ok.   
Sorting data in Excel

See the result after sorting. Check the “T-shirt size” column within the table. 

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