How to Sort Rows by Column in Excel (4 Methods)

custom sorting

When you are dealing with a big amount of datasets, searching, organizing, keeping them in a specific cell, and tracking the specific data becomes more complicated. To avoid this situation, excel has an amazing feature called “sorting”. Using this feature you can sort your data by column, value, dates, or any other special conditions. It will help you to quickly understand, find, and visualize your data and will make your action faster. In this article, we will discuss four methods to sort your data by column in excel.

Read more: Excel Sort By Date And Time

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Four Ways to Sort Rows by Column in Excel

1. Using The Ascending (A-Z) or Descending (Z-A) option

In most common cases we need to sort rows from smallest to largest (A-Z) or from largest to smallest (Z-A) by column. We can do it by following these easy steps.

 i. Sort Rows by Column from A-Z (Smallest to Largest)


First, we want to sort rows by column from smallest to largest. We need a data set for that. We can take this picture as a sample.

data set



Select the Dataset, Open your Data tab, go to the “Sort & Filter” ribbon and click this icon ascending order

 Data→Sort & Filter→A-Z

Entering data


Click “OK”. Now we can see that the rows are sorted according to the columns.

sorted data

ii. Sort Rows by Column from Z-A (Largest to Smallest)


Now we will sort rows by column from largest to smallest (Z-A). Select “Income” cell, Open your Data tab, go to the “Sort & Filter” ribbon and click this icon Descending order

 Data→Sort & Filter→Z-A

sorting largest to smallest

And our rows are sorted with respect to the columns.

sorted data

2. Using Custom Sorting Method to Sort Rows by Column

Custom sorting is an amazing process to sort your rows by column. Applying this method you can easily sort your rows by column by swallowing these steps.


Select your data range, go to “Data” and click this icon   Custom sorting

Data→Sort & Filter→Sort

entering data


A new window appears. Here you can customize your sorting styles. Click on “Option”.

add levels


Another window popped up named “Sort Option”. We want to sort rows by column. So, click on “Sort Left to Right”.

sorting option


Now a sorting style window appears where we can sort rows. We will sort by “Row 4”, sort on “Cell Values” and order is “Largest to Smallest”. Click “OK”.

sorting styles

Our rows are now sorted by columns. You can also sort rows from Smallest to largest by using the same steps. Just choose the order “Smallest to Largest” and your sorting will be done.

sorted value

3. Multi-level Sorting Method to Sort Rows by Column

Using this method, we can sort multiple rows by columns. Follow these steps.


Select your data-set and go to “Data” and click this icon   custom sorting

Data→Sort & Filter→Sort

entering value


When the new window arrives, click on “Option”. Then on the new popped-up window, choose “Sort Left to Right”.

custom sorting

Step-3: On the sorting style window, click on “Add Level” to add another row to the existing sorted row. In the picture below we added two new levels (Row 5, Row 6). Then we customize their style by their values and from “Largest to Smallest”. Click “OK”.

sorting multiple levels

Our rows are now sorted by their column value.

end result

4. Using The “SORT” Function

The “SORT” function is pretty useful when you are to sort a wide range of data. In this method, we will use this function to sort the rows by column.

Read more: How to Sort Data in Excel Using Formula


Copy the column header and paste it to the cell where you want to get your sorted values.

creating new data set


Apply the “SORT” function.


  • “Array” is the selected Range or array to sort. (B5:F16)
  • [sort_index] is the Column index to use for sorting. Default is 1. We choose (3)
  • [sort_order] where, Ascending=1, Descending = -1. Default is ascending order. We choose (1)
  • [by_col] where, sort by column=TRUE , sort by row= FALSE . Default is FALSE. We choose “FALSE”.

applying sort function

Press “ENTER”. Our rows are sorted.

final result

You can also select descending order by selecting a descending style (-1)

Things to Remember

➤ The “SORT” function is only available for “Excel 365”. You won’t be able to use this function unless you have this version of excel.

➤You can auto-sort columns by their value when you use the “SORT” function.

➤You have to select the header column cell when you sort your data.

➤In the multi-level custom sorting method, the data will first be sorted by the 1st level, then the 2nd level, and so on.


Four methods of Sorting rows by column in excel are discussed in this article. Hope this article is useful to you and helps you when you are facing problems. If you have any confusion or suggestions, you are welcome to comment.

Further Readings

Asikul Himel
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