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 a Range of Cells.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 29, 2017)
Peter asked if it is possible to sort a range of cells, and just that range. In other words, not to sort entire rows or entire columns. The answer is a resounding "yes," Excel allows you to do the sorting rather easily.
As an example, let's assume you want to sort the cells in the range of C10:F40, based on the values in column D. To do this, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Sort dialog box.
You can also sort by using the Sort Ascending or Sort Descending tools on the toolbar. The steps you follow are just a bit different:
Regardless of the technique you use, only the range of selected cells are sorted. All other information in the data table remains unaffected.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2708) 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 a Range of Cells.
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!
Custom lists are handy ways to enter recurring data in a worksheet. Here's how you can import your own custom lists from a ...Discover More
Using the sorting tools, on the toolbar, may result in some unwanted results, such as jumbled data. If this happens to you, ...Discover More
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
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.