Sorting Excel Data: The Basics & Beyond

A definitive guide to sorting data managed in Microsoft Excel.

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Kindle Edition
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Print Edition (to come)

Wildly popular as a spreadsheet application, Microsoft Excel includes a robust collection of data management features, making it an excellent tool for working with lists of data. The ability to sort this data remains one of Excel’s strongest and most-used features.

But exactly how do you use Excel’s sorting features to organize data the way you need to? Ribbon and toolbar buttons, menu commands, dialog boxes, and hidden options—in Excel, sorting can be simple and complicated at the same time, often yielding surprising, undesired results.

This guide takes the mystery and confusion out of Excel’s sorting features. It starts by covering the basics of simple, one-column sorts. It then builds on that information to explain multi-column sorting, setting up and using custom sort orders, sorting based on cell colors or icons, performing case-sensitive sorts, and sorting by rows instead of columns. Step-by-step, fully illustrated instructions make it clear what you need to do. Sample files available on the Maria’s Guides website make it easy to repeat exercises so you can see the same results.

Although this book concentrates on Microsoft Excel 2010 for Windows and Microsoft Excel 2011 for Mac OS, it also provides useful tips and instructions for previous versions of Excel.

Don’t waste time trying to decipher cryptic instructions in Excel’s onscreen help. Get the information you need, written in a way you can understand by an experienced author who has been using, teaching, and writing about Excel for more than 20 years.

Table of Contents
Before We Begin: Introduction
Chapter 1: Sorting Basics
Chapter 2: Quick Sorts
Chapter 3: Multiple-Column Sorts
Chapter 4: Sorting by Color & Icon
Chapter 5: Using Custom Sort Orders
Chapter 6: Exploring Sort Options
Chapter 7: Sorting with Filters & Tables
Conclusion: That’s Everything

Exercise File

The book includes many fully illustrated, step-by-step exercises. You can follow along by downloading the book example file: SampleData.xlsx

Related Posts

For more content related to using Excel, be sure to check out the Excel topic link.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about something in this book? Please check the comments for this page to see if it has already been asked and answered. If not, you can ask a question by using the form below. Please keep in mind that Maria can only answer questions that are directly related to her book. Be sure to subscribe to page comments so you are notified when your question is answered.

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