How to Create Custom Sort List in Excel

Today I will be showing how to create a custom sort list in Excel. While working in Excel, we often have to sort a range of cells according to our needs. Sorting these manually may take a lot of time, and it is quite troublesome too. Creating your custom sort list comes in very handy in these situations. In this article, I am going to demonstrate 2 simple ways to create a custom sort list in Excel. If you are also curious about it, download our practice workbook, and follow us.


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2 Simple Methods to Create Custom Sort List in Excel

Here we have a data set with the Names, Marks, and Grades and some students in an examination of Saint Xavier’s High School. The grades are divided into 6 categories, A+, A, A-, B, C, and F. To see clearly, I have given them six different colors.

The order of the grades is A+, A, A-, B, C, F. Our objective today is to create a custom sort list of the grades to sort the students according to their grades.

📚 Note:

All the operations of this article are accomplished by using Microsoft Office 365 application.


1. Creating from Excel Toolbar

In the first method, we are going to create the custom sort list from the Excel Toolbar. The steps of this approach are given below:

📌 Steps:

  • First of all, select the range of cells B5:D24.
  • Now, in the Data tab, click on the Sort command from the Sort & Filter group.

Launching Sort option to create a custom sort list

  • As a result, a small dialog box called Sort will appear.
  • Then, click on the drop-down arrow of the Order section and choose the Custom List option.

Click on Custom List option to add custom sort list in Excel

  • Another dialog box called Custom Lists will appear.
  • After that, select the NEW LIST option and write down our 6 categories sequentially in the empty List entities section.
  • Finally, click on the Add button.

Input our categories

  • You will notice that our custom sort list will add at the bottom of all lists.
  • Click OK to close the dialog box.

Adding the categories as a custom sort list in Excel

  • Afterward, we will apply our custom sort list to our dataset.
  • For that, click on the drop-down arrow of the Sort by section and choose Column D.
  • Next, in the Order section, choose the Custom List option.

Apply the custom sort list on our dataset

  • The Custom Lists dialog box will appear again.
  • Now, select our custom sort list and click OK.

  • Again, click OK to apply the custom sort to our dataset.

  • You will notice within a second the dataset will be sorted with our custom sort list.

Creating a custom sort list from Excel Toolbar

Thus, our procedure works perfectly, and we are able to create a custom sort list in Excel using the Sort command.

Read More: How to Create Custom Sort in Excel (Both Creating and Using)


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2. Generating from Excel File Menu

In this approach, we will create the custom sort list from the Excel File menu. The procedure of this approach is explained below:

📌 Steps:

  • First, click on the File > Options option.

  • As a result, the Excel Options dialog box will appear.
  • Now, click on the Advanced option.
  • Then, scroll down with your mouse and find out the General section.
  • After that, click on the Edit Custom Lists option.

Clicking on suitable option to add a custom sort list in Excel

  • Another dialog box called Custom Lists will appear.
  • Next, select the NEW LIST option and write down our 6 categories sequentially in the empty List entities section.
  • At last, click on the Add button.

Add the categories in Custom Lists

  • You will figure out that our custom sort list will add at the bottom of all lists.
  • Thus, click OK to close the dialog box.

Create custom sort list Excel

  • Again, click OK to close the Excel Options dialog box.
  • Now, we will apply our custom sort list to our dataset.
  • For that, select the range of cells B5:D24.
  • Then, in the Data tab, click on the Sort command from the Sort & Filter group.

Opening the Sort dialog box to apply the custom sort list on the dataset

  • Next, click on the drop-down arrow of the Sort by section and choose the Grade option.
  • After that, in the Order section, choose the Custom List option.

  • As a result, the Custom Lists dialog box will appear again.
  • Select our custom sort list and click OK.

  • Again, click OK to apply the custom sort to our dataset.

  • You will see that the dataset will be sorted with our custom sort list.

Generating the custom sort list from Excel File Menu

Finally, we can say that our procedure works successfully, and we are able to create a custom sort list from Excel Options.

Read More: How to Use Advanced Sorting Options in Excel


Add Custom Sort List in Excel 2016

Excel 2016 is a widely used Microsoft Office version. Now-a-day if you buy a new laptop or computer, you will get this office version from the seller complementary. So, you get Excel 2016 on your device easily. Now, you may be curious about how to add a custom list to your Excel 2016 version. The procedure of adding a custom sort list in Excel 2016 is almost similar. Even both approaches are available in Excel 2016 version. You can use any of them to add a custom sort list in Excel 2016.


Conclusion

That’s the end of this article. I hope that this article will be helpful for you and you will be able to create a custom sort list in Excel. Please share any further queries or recommendations with us in the comments section below if you have any other questions or suggestions.

Don’t forget to check our website, ExcelDemy, for several Excel-related problems and solutions. Keep learning new methods and keep growing!


Further Readings

Rifat Hassan

Rifat Hassan

Hello! Welcome to my profile. Here I will be posting articles related to Microsoft Excel. I am a passionate Electrical Engineer holding a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Besides academic studies, I always love to keep pace with the revolution in technology that the world is rushing towards day by day. I am diligent, career-oriented, and ready to cherish knowledge throughout my life.

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