Sorting Data

Learning Outcomes

  • Sort and filter records

There are multiple ways to sort data in Access. The first option is to use the toolbar shown in the example below. The tools function as you would expect from any MS Office tool bar.

Microsoft Access Filter tool bar. Options include Ascending (a to z), Descending (z to a), Selection (with a dropdown menu), Advanced (with a dropdown menu), Remove Sort, and Toggle Filter. The words "Sort & Filter" are at the bottom middle of the toolbar.

Another way to quickly sort data in a table is to use the sorting capability built-in to the column headers, as shown in the example below. Clicking on the arrow in each header will sort the records in ascending or descending order (alternating).

A series of column headers, each with a small black arrow to the right of the column header text. Clicking the arrow will sort the column in descending or ascending order.

Filtering your view of the data set can be accomplished in several ways. Perhaps the quickest is to right-click on the value you wish to filter by to open the dialog in the example below.

Cell selected by right clicking. A dialogue box opens to the right of the selected cell. Options present in this dialogue box include "Equals "Closed"", "Does Not Equal "Closed"", Contains "Closed", and Does Not Contain "Closed".

In this case, if we wish to filter by the value “Closed” and can choose one of four filtering elements: “Equals,” “Does Not Equal,” Contains,” or “Does Not Contain.”

Practice Question