How to Sort Data in Microsoft Excel

By Lawrence Stephens

Microsoft Excel is designed to be able to sort massive amounts of data with ease. Data in Excel can be sorted in a variety of ways, depending on the needs of the user. You can use Excel's sort function to alphabetize a list of names, sort inventory amounts numerically, or sort sales by profit. There are many reasons why you may want to sort your data, and using Excel makes this process user friendly.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Excel

Step 1

Open the file that contains the data you want to sort in Excel.

Step 2

Drag the cursor to highlight the data you wish to sort. If you are sorting a single column, you can highlight the entire column by clicking the column letter at the top edge of the page.

Step 3

Click "Data," and then select "Sort." A new window will appear with sort options.

Step 4

Select the first column you would like to sort by. You can sort by up to three columns, and you can choose to sort in ascending or descending order for each. Excel will sort the columns in the order in which they are selected.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure that you select all of the data you wish to sort. If only half of the data is highlighted, Excel will only sort what is selected and any other parts of the data will remain as they were.