We continue with our series of basic office tutorials.
This time we focus on a simple but vital task for working with a spreadsheet: how to sort data in Excel.
Ultimately, the raison d’être of Excel is to handle data that we organize into lists, tables, graphs, or whatever we want. Sorting them as we want, or even changing the sorting when we want, is important to be able to work with Excel.
Let’s, therefore, learn how to sort data in Excel.
The basic data sorting function in Excel is available for all versions of the application, including the free Excel Online.
Start Excel and open a spreadsheet, or type some data in the cells. Letters and words, as well as numbers, work. For example, you can create a list of expenses including rent, electricity, heating, etc.
To sort data in Excel, select a cell from the column you want to sort. Then click on the Data tab. You’ll see two icons to sort in ascending or descending order, either words in alphabetical order, or numbers.
This is the easiest way to sort data by columns.
If you want to use advanced options, you need a paid version of Excel, such as Excel 2016, for example.
In these versions, next to the icons we have mentioned you will see a new icon called Sort.
Pressing it opens a window with more sorting options.
Here we can select a specific column and decide the type of sorting ascending, descending, or a custom list of sorting that we have created (for example if we want to sort first by the letter B before the letter A, and then the letter C.).
If we click on the icon Add level, we add a second sorting criterion, which will be used when the first one is tied. For example, if we order the light receipts and in two of them the expense is the same, we add a second level with the Date column, and if there is a tie they will be ordered according to the date of the expense.
Sorting data in Excel is a simple operation, but it is convenient to practice to see for ourselves how it works.