Sorting the columns instead of the rows

The Data Sort tool does exactly what it says, it allows the sorting of data and most people use it to sort rows. But note that you can also sort in columns. So if you don’t like the order of your columns and you want to reverse them, you can easily do it.

To follow along go to 3.2

Another option that people aren’t familiar with is that you can sort by columns instead of rows (so left to right instead of top to bottom).

This is useful if, for example, you keep getting a report out of your IT system which has lots of columns but not in the order you want. Instead of manually re-sorting it (cut/ paste/ insert/ delete), you can get the columns to sort into an order.

The process is the same i.e.

  • Highlight the cells
  • Click on DATA and SORT
  • BUT now you click on the OPTIONS button and choose the Sort Left to Right

Data Sort

  • Now when you click OK you will see that it talks about Rows and not columns
  • You can specify the row (normally the first row) and choose how it sorts, including a Custom List as shown previously.

Data Sort

Back to: Intermediate Excel Course > Filtering and Sorting