Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Sorting Data Lists
a report for your account representatives showing which clients are in whose
territory, you need the records in alphabetical order by state and maybe
even by city.
To have Excel correctly sort the records in a data list, you must specify
which field’s values determine the new order of the records. (Such fields are
technically known as the sorting keys in the parlance of the database
enthusiast.) Further, you must specify what type of order you want to create using
the information in these fields. Choose from two possible orders:
✓ Ascending order: Text entries are placed in alphabetical order from A
to Z, values are placed in numerical order from smallest to largest, and
dates are placed in order from oldest to newest.
✓ Descending order: This is the reverse of alphabetical order from Z to A,
numerical order from largest to smallest, and dates from newest to oldest.
Sorting on a single field
When you need to sort the data list on only one particular field (such as the
Record Number, Last Name, or Company field), you simply click that field’s
AutoFilter button and then click the appropriate sort option on its drop-down
✓ Sort A to Z or Sort Z to A in a text field
✓ Sort Smallest to Largest or Sort Largest to Smallest in a number field
✓ Sort Oldest to Newest or Sort Newest to Oldest in a date field
Excel then re-orders all the records in the data list in accordance with the
new ascending or descending order in the selected field. If you find that
you’ve sorted the list in error, simply click the Undo button on the Quick
Access toolbar or press Ctrl+Z right away to return the list to its order before
you selected one of these sort options.
Excel shows when a field has been used to sort the data list by adding an up
or down arrow to its AutoFilter button. An arrow pointing up indicates that
the ascending sort order was used and an arrow pointing down indicates that
the descending sort order was used.
Sorting on multiple fields
You need to use more than one field in sorting when the first field you use
contains duplicate values and you want a say in how the records with
duplicates are arranged. (If you don’t specify another field to sort on, Excel just
puts the records in the order in which you entered them.)