Sorting Data Using Multiple Columns in Excel

Microsoft Excel is great at processing large amounts of data. You can quickly look at information, calculate different values based on it, and sort data to find the largest or smallest values. You can also sort multiple columns of data so you can sort on multiple data points.

Imagine you have a spreadsheet of company information. It has columns such as company name, revenue, number of employees, website address, and more. You may want to sort the list by annual revenue, but you may then want to sort by the number employees. This would sort first by annual revenue, and if two companies had the same annual revenue, it would then sort by the number of employees. You can select sort order (such as smallest to largest or largest to smallest) for each column you want to sort on.

First, select all of the columns in your Excel worksheet or select the entire worksheet.

On the Home Tab, click on the Sort & Filter pulldown menu.

Select Custom Sort…

If your worksheet has a header row with labels for the columns, make sure the My data has headers is checked. If not, make sure it is not checked.

To sort your data, select the Sort by pull down menu and select the first column you would like to sort your data by. You can sort by values, cell color, font color, or cell icon. Select the order, A to Z, Z to A, or custom.

Click on Add Level to add another column to sort by.

In our example, we are sorting by annual revenue, largest to smallest, and then by number of employees, smallest to largest.

Now our data is sorted first by revenue and then by the number of employees.

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