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: Storing Sorting Criteria.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 19, 2022)
Stephanie often has to perform sorts of her data using the same criteria over and over again. For instance, she often needs to perform a sort that uses the same three columns. She wonders if there is a way to "store" a set of sorting criteria so she doesn't need to enter them over and over again.
There are a couple of ways that you can approach this issue. The first is to create custom views (described in other issues of ExcelTips) that include your data sorted in a desired manner. You can always store and recall the view to see it sorted as you want.
Perhaps the most flexible approach, however, is to perform your sorting in a macro instead of by using the Sort dialog box. You can easily use the macro recorder to set up and execute your sort; later running the macro will sort the same area over again, using the same criteria.
A more general macro would be one like what is shown below. It sorts columns A, B, and C in descending order. All you need to do is select the data you want sorted before running the macro. (You should, of course, make sure that the range you select includes columns A, B, and C.)
Sub SortMyData() Selection.Sort _ Key1:=Range("A1"), Order1:=xlAscending, _ Key2:=Range("B1"), Order2:=xlAscending, _ Key3:=Range("C1"), Order3:=xlAscending, _ Header:=xlGuess, OrderCustom:=1, _ MatchCase:=False, Orientation:=xlTopToBottom, _ DataOption1:=xlSortNormal, _ DataOption2:=xlSortNormal, _ DataOption3:=xlSortNormal End Sub
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8344) 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: Storing Sorting Criteria.
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!
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 ...Discover More
Sorting is one of the basic operations done in a worksheet. If your sorting won't work and you instead get an error ...Discover More
Protect a worksheet and you limit exactly what can be done with the data in the worksheet. One of the things that could ...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.