Related Tutorial: Sort By Multiple Columns in Excel
- Sort in ascending order - A to Z alphabetically or smallest to largest for number data.
- Sort in descending order - Z to A alphabetically or largest to smallest for number data.
- Custom sort - includes sorting by the cell background color or the font color of the data.
Example: Sort Data in Excel
For help with this example, see the image above.
- Enter the following data into cells A1 to A6: 40, 20, 30, 60, 5, 25.
- Drag select cells A1 to A6 to highlight them.
- Click on the Home tab of the ribbon.
- Click on the Sort & Filter icon on the ribbon to open the drop down list.
- Click on Sort smallest to largest.
- The data in cells A1 to A6 should now be in this order:
5, 20, 25, 30, 40, 60.
Note: Excel knows the difference between text and number data and adjust the options in the drop down list accordingly. For example, if cells A1 to A6 contained text - such as words or letters of the alphabet - instead of numbers the options in the Sort & Filter drop down list would change to Sort A to Z instead of Sort smallest to largest .
Also Note: If you have multiple columns of related data and you wish to perform a simple sort on one of those columns - such as sorting an address list by the person's last name - remember to select all columns of related data before carrying out the sort in order to keep your data together.