Data Processing 1: Sort


Time to learn: 5 minutes

One of the bedrocks of Excel. Let’s have a look.

The sort function looks at all the values in a set of data and arranges them in the order you specify. So in column A we’ve got numbers and in column B, we’ve got words.

Now the first part is the most important – click on any value within the data you want to sort. This part is the most critical, otherwise, Excel would not know what to sort.


Get to the ‘Data’ tab and then left click on the ‘Sort’ button.

Now, an option box will appear.


‘Add Level’ will add an additional aspect of sorting. Meaning, that the data will be sorted by one set of data, before moving on to the next one specified.  In this case, the data will be sorted by the ‘Numbers’ column and then the ‘Words’ column.

Sort 2

‘Sort On’ indicates how you want the data to be sorted – just leave it at ‘Values’ as this is what you want most often.

‘Order’ indicates whether you want the data in ascending order (‘A to Z’ or ‘Smallest to Largest’) or descending order (‘Z to A’ or ‘Largest to Smallest’)

Sort 3

Let’s see how this works. We’ll sort the data by ‘Words’ and then ‘Numbers’.

Sort 5

As you can observe, the data is sorted alphabetically by ‘Words’ and then from smallest to largest by ‘Numbers’.

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