Sorting and Filtering Data

Learning Objectives

  • Sort data in a table.
  • Filter data in a table.

After data has been entered into an Excel worksheet, and even after it has been organized into a table, it can still be manipulated and reorganized. One of the easiest options is to sort the data in a particular order. For example, you can sort the data alphabetically.

Sorting Data

Method 1

  1. Select the column or row you wish to sort.
  2. From the Sort & Filter button in the Editing group in the ribbon, click the Sort button.
  3. From the menu, choose how you would like to sort the data. For example, A to Z or Z to A. Note that A to Z is equivalent to Smallest to Largest and Z to A is equivalent to Largest to Smallest.
Data has been entered in Columns A and B through row 14. There is a green arrow pointing at a green box where a dropdown menu has opened up. The option to sort alphabetically is show.

Method 2

  1. Select the column or row you wish to sort.
  2. From the Data tab in the ribbon, click the appropriate Sort button. For example A to Z or Z to A.
Data has been entered in Columns A and B through row 14. There is a green box showing off the sort option in excel.

A quick note about Custom Sort: the Custom Sort option allows you to define how your data will be sorted within a column. For example, perhaps you want to sort information by clothing size, rather than alphabetically. In this case, you must create a custom list for your sort order.

  1. Click on the data you wish to sort.
  2. Click the Sort command followed by the Custom Sort option in the dropdown menu.
  3. The Sort window will appear, allowing you to specify which column you will sort and how. You can use the default options (days of the week or months) or you can enter a new list. To create a new list, select Custom List from the Order column and then NEW LIST.
  4. If you are making a custom list, type in order the way you would like the data sorted. In our example, we are sorting by size from small to large.
  5. Click Add and your custom ordering list will appear in the original Order dropdown menu.
  6. Select your custom list and then click OK.
A sorts dialog box is open. A custom lists dialog box is open.

 

Practice Question

Practice Questions

Practice Question

Filtering Data

After entering data in Excel, it is also possible to filter, or hide some parts of the data, based on user-indicated categories. When using the Filter option, no data is lost; it is just hidden from view.

Method 1

  1. Select the column or row you wish to sort.
  2. From the Sort & Filter button in the Editing group in the ribbon, click the Filter button.
  3. When the Filter menu appears, you can choose which categories of data to hide and deselect the appropriate buttons. For example, you can deselect the button next to large and you will no longer see the large cells in your table.
Data has been entered in an excel sheet. A dropdown menu from the size button has been revealed.

Method 2

You can similarly access the Filter menu through the Data tab; the same menu will appear.

Data has been entered in Columns A and B through row 13 on an excel sheet. There is a green arrow pointing to the size dropdown menu and there is a green box around the sort and filter menu.

Practice Question