How To Sort Tables in Excel in 4 Steps (With Tips)

Sort the table
  1. Select a cell within the data.
  2. Select Home > Sort & Filter. Or, select Data > Sort.
  3. Select an option: Sort A to Z – sorts the selected column in an ascending order. Sort Z to A – sorts the selected column in a descending order.

Check your cell values to make sure they are entered into the worksheet correctly if your data isn’t sorting properly. When sorting through a large worksheet, even a small error could cause issues. Because we neglected to put a hyphen in cell A18 in the example below, our sort was only slightly accurate.

Excel Sorting and Filtering Data

When to sort tables in Excel

There are many reasons to sort your Excel tables. The ability of tables to quickly organize data and only display the information you need is their best feature. Below are examples of when to sort your data:

To filter unnecessary data

Table filters’ main purpose is to eliminate any information you or others don’t need. For instance, being able to see each entry in a table may not be necessary if you only need to see a summary of the progress your team has made on a project. Instead, you could use a table to only see the most crucial data. When making presentations to important stakeholders within an organization, you might also want to filter the data in a way that makes project proposals more appealing. Your Excel spreadsheets can look more polished by filtering the data within a table.

To apply a specific format to your data

To apply a particular format to data, you can sort a table. Sorting enables you to use a custom filter you’ve created or an alphabetical list. Once a table has been sorted in this manner, you can add more data to it and have Excel automatically format the new data into the table according to your preferences. For instance, if you have sorted your table from A to Z alphabetically and add a new row that belongs somewhere in the middle, sorting the table moves the value to the proper position.

To keep headers visible

When you create tables in Excel, one choice is whether your table has headers. If so, you can inform Excel by clicking “OK” after checking the box next to “My data has headers.” By choosing this choice, you can keep your table’s headers visible at the top of the screen as you scroll through data rows. This is useful if other people are using the same spreadsheet you use and you want to remember what each column in your data means. When you export the data to other programs, this can also assist you in presenting the information more clearly.

To create a standardized name for the table

You can title the entire data set by sorting your data into a table. This is useful for giving the data a clear name, particularly when you want to present it to others. This can ensure that you always know which data you are working with if you work with multiple sets of data. Finally, giving your data a title can help other users of it know exactly where to look to find the data they need, making work processes more effective.

To design relationships between multiple tables

You can display the connections between two or more tables by sorting the data. For instance, sorting the tables alphabetically can help you compare a single employee’s output from month to month if you have tables that represent the output of individual employees at a company during each month. Another illustration is the ability to compare the top production teams and employees each month by sorting the tables by the largest and smallest values of output, which can assist you in making internal promotion decisions and developing procedures to assist those with lower production quotas.

What are tables in Excel?

You can use tables in Microsoft Excel as a tool to group data based on rules you apply to the data in an Excel spreadsheet. For instance, you can select particular rows, columns, and cells from your spreadsheet to create a table with more precise data. You can also have multiple tables within your Excel document. For instance, if you have financial reports from January to December of a given year, you can choose to display each quarter as a separate table from January to March, April to June, July to September, and October to December.

The ability to export Excel tables to other Microsoft products like Word and PowerPoint is one of their features. In order to create presentations, flyers, and other media based on data in an Excel spreadsheet, you can use this technique without having to show your audience the entire spreadsheet. Tables offer practical ways to arrange data and present it in an understandable manner. You can use the steps listed below to make a table in Excel:

How to sort tables in Excel

The steps to sort tables in Excel are as follows:

1. Select a cell within the data

Selecting a cell within the data in a table is the first step in filtering the data. In the event that you already have a table, you can choose any data cell. To create a table with the data you want to use if you haven’t already, you can select a range of cells and click “Insert” and then “Table.” You can choose any data value in the table after it has been created to begin the sorting process.

2. Navigate to your filter options

You can access the sorting and filtering options in two different ways. The “Sort & Filter” button can be found at the top of the “Home” tab. Clicking on it will open an options menu. As an alternative, you can select the “Data” tab and look for the “Sort” button to display the menu of choices.

3. Select a filter option

Excel has two options for organizing data in tables: “Sort A to Z” and “Sort Z to A,” which alphabetically arrange the data in the table. If neither of these options is how you want to arrange the data in the table, click “Custom Sort” to design your own criteria. For example, you can sort data using the following steps:

4. Save your Excel workbook

The last step is to save your workbook. There are two ways you can do this. The first is to select “Save” or “Save as” from the “File” tab to save the file to your computer and specify a location. The second option is to use the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+S,” which saves the file automatically on your computer without letting you choose where it should be saved.

Tips for sorting tables in Excel

Below are some tips for sorting tables in Excel:

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How do I sort an entire table in Excel based on one column?

Select a cell in the column you want to sort. Click Sort under the Sort & Filter group on the Data tab. Select the column you want to sort by a custom list in the Sort dialog box’s Column section, in the Sort by or Then by box.

How do you sort a table in Excel without mixing data?

General Sort
  1. In your list, click into any cell in the COLUMN you want to sort by. (DO NOT highlight that column as doing so will only sort that column, leaving the rest of your data unchanged.) ).
  2. Click on the DATA tab.
  3. Click on either the Sort Ascending or Sort Descending. button.

How do you sort a table in Excel and keep rows together?

Alternately, click inside the table in Excel to sort it by multiple columns. Then, on the “Data” tab of the Ribbon, click the “Sort” button in the “Sort & Filter” button group. Use the “Sort by” drop-down to choose the name of the field to use to sort the data in the “Sort” dialog box that appears.

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