Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Sorting an Entire List.

Sorting an Entire List

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 20, 2012)

Excel allows you to sort list data both quickly and easily. You can sort your data by row using the contents of any column you want. In database terminology, this column (or field) is called the sort key. In Excel it is referred to as the Sort By column.

To sort an entire list quickly, start by selecting a cell within the column you want used as the Sort By column. Then, click on the Sort Ascending tool or Sort Descending tool, depending on what you want to do. (Tools are on the toolbar.) For instance, if you want to sort an inventory list by its Quantity field, all you need to do is select a cell in the Quantity column, and then click on Sort Ascending.

You should know that if your worksheet contains hidden rows, they are not affected when you sort by rows. If you have hidden columns, they are not affected when you sort by columns. After the sort, they will remain in the same position as before the sort.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2253) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Sorting an Entire List.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Jumping between Columns

Need to jump from one column to another on a page? You can use the handy shortcut keys described in this tip.

Discover More

Returning a Weight and a Date

If you have two columns containing dates and weights from those dates, you may want to pick a date associated with a given ...

Discover More

Clearing and Deleting Cells

When you want to remove information from a worksheet, you can either clear cells or delete cells. This tip examines the ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Sorting by Five Columns

Excel allows you to sort but up to three columns, but you may want to sort by more than that. This tip provides ways you can ...

Discover More

Sorting Data Containing Merged Cells

When formatting the layout of your worksheet, Excel allows you to easily merge adjacent cells together. This can cause havoc ...

Discover More

Storing Sorting Criteria

Need to do the same sorting operation over and over again? Excel doesn't provide a way to save your sorting criteria, but ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share