How to Sort Alphabetically in Excel with Multiple Columns (4 Methods)

Using the A-Z or Z-A Sorting Methods

Sorting alphabetically in excel is very easy and at the same time very useful when you are working with a wide range of raw data. Sorting is one of the most common features in excel and yet it is one of the most useful ones. Sorting is widely used in the data management sector. Today we will learn some easy ways to sort alphabetically in excel with multiple columns.

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Four Ways to Sort Alphabetically in Excel with Multiple Columns

This article will show you four easy methods to sort your data alphabetically with multiple columns in excel.

1. Using the A-Z (Ascending) or Z-A (Descending) Sorting Methods

In most cases, we need to sort our columns alphabetically from “A-Z” or “Z-A” to get our desired sorted data range. This task can be accomplished by following these easy steps

Step-1:

First, we want to sort columns ascendingly (A to Z). We have to make a data set. We can take this picture as an example.

Using the A-Z or Z-A Sorting Methods

Step-2:

Select the “Author Name” column and go to, “Data” → “Sort and Filter” ribbon.

Click this icon.

Using the A-Z or Z-A Sorting Methods

Step-3:

A warning window appears. We will click on “Expand the Selection” as we want the rest of the columns to be sorted.

Using the A-Z or Z-A Sorting Methods

And our columns are sorted in ascending order.

Using the A-Z or Z-A Sorting Methods

Step-4:

Now we will sort columns in descending order. Select your column and go to the “Data”→” Sort and Filter” ribbon and click on this icon.

Using the A-Z or Z-A Sorting Methods

Step-5:

Click on “Expand the Selection” to sort the rest of the columns.

 

Using the A-Z or Z-A Sorting Methods

The data is sorted in descending order.

Using the A-Z or Z-A Sorting Methods

2. Using the “Filter” Option to Sort Alphabetically

Step-1:

To sort multiple columns alphabetically, select your column head and go to the “Editing” ribbon and click on this icon 

Using the “Filter” Option to Sort Alphabetically

Step-2:

The filter option arrives in each column. Click on this Filter icon and select “Sort A to Z”.

Using the “Filter” Option to Sort Alphabetically

Our columns are now sorted alphabetically.

Using the “Filter” Option to Sort Alphabetically

Step-3:

Sorting in descending order is the same as the previous step. Click on your column Filter icon and select “Sort Z to A”.

Using the “Filter” Option to Sort Alphabetically

We now have our sorted columns.

Sorted columns

3. Using the “SORT” Command Window to Sort Alphabetically With Multiple Columns

You can use the “SORT” command to sort multiple columns at the same time by their names, values, colors, etc. Follow these steps.

Step-1:

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

 

using sort command

Step-2:

A new window popped out. Here you can have your different sorting styles. We will sort by “Author Name”, sort on “Cell Values” and order is “A to Z”.

adding level

Step-3:

Click “Ok” and the dataset is sorted according to our given style.

Step-4:

Let’s say we want to sort the “Book Published” column too. To do it, click on the sorting command.

After the window popped, click on “Add level” to select the options for the sext column. Now we want to sort this column in descending order.

adding another level

Step-5:
Click “OK” and we got our desired sorting order.

Arranged data

4. Using the “SORT” Function to Sort Alphabetically

We can use the “SORT” function to sort our column alphabetically.

Step-1:

Copy the column header and paste it to the cell where you want to get sour sorted data.

creating headers

Step-2:

Apply the “SORT” function.

Here,

  • “Array” is your data range (C5:E22)
  • [sort_index] is the column you want to sort on (1)
  • [sort_order] is where you can specify the order (1)

Press “Enter”.

apply sort function

The columns are now sorted alphabetically.
arranged alphabetically

This feature has the auto-sorting capability so this is an extra advantage.

Problems You Might Face

Though sorting multiple columns alphabetically in excel is quite easy, you might face some problems. One of the most common errors is when you have a “Blank” or “Hidden” row in your dataset.blank cell

In this case, let’s say we want to sort the columns alphabetically. So, click on the column head “Author Name” and sort it using the previous method.

sorting data with blank cell

After we click “OK” we can see only the portion of our data until the first blank cell is sorted and the rest of the part remains scattered.

not fully sorted data

To solve this, we have to select the whole dataset and then we will sort it

correcting tavle

Now we can see that the blank cell is at the end of the dataset. Thus, we can solve this issue.

fully sorted data

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.

➤ If you have a blank cell in your data table, select the whole data table to sort alphabetically.

➤You can auto-sort alphabetically when you use the “SORT” function.

Conclusion

Sorting multiple columns alphabetically in excel is discussed in this article. Hope this article is useful to you and your problem is solved. If you have any confusion or suggestions, you are welcome to comment.

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