How to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel (4 Easy Ways)

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Excel is a very useful software for representing data using tables and charts. It is a handy tool to arrange data and charts in ascending or descending order to enhance the appearance of the presentation. In this article, we will show you four easy methods to sort a bar chart in descending order in Excel.


How to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel: 4 Suitable Ways

In this article, we will demonstrate four suitable ways to sort a bar chart in descending order in Excel. We will use the following dataset for this purpose. The dataset contains two columns named Student Name and Test Score. A bar chart is inserted using these two columns.

how to sort bar chart in descending order excel


1. Sort Bar Chart Using Sort Tool

In the first method, we will use the Sort Tool to sort a bar chart in descending order in Excel. Read the following steps to learn how to do it.

Steps:

  • First of all, select all the data from both columns and then, from the Data tab, go to,

Data → Sort & Filter → Sort

  • As a result, the Sort dialogue box will appear.
  • In the box, check the box beside My data has headers.
  • Then choose Test Score in the Sort by option.
  • After that, choose the Smallest to Largest in Order option since we want the largest bar on the top and the smallest one on the bottom of our chart.

Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order Using Sort Tool

  • Finally, click OK and you will find your bar chart sorted in descending order.

Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order Using Sort Tool

Read More: How to Sort Bar Chart Without Sorting Data in Excel


2. Insert Pivot Table to Sort Bar Chart in Reverse Order

In this method, we will first insert a pivot table and then sort it. The steps to do so are discussed in the following section.

Steps:

  • First, select both Student Name and Test Score columns, and then, from the Insert tab, go to,

Insert → PivotTables → PivotTable → From Table/Range

  • As a result, a new dialogue box will pop up.
  • Select Existing Worksheet and choose a Location.

  • Once you click OK, the Pivot Table Fields panel will open.
  • Check both the Student Name and Test Score from there and drag them under the Rows field.

Insert Pivot Table to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel

  • Then go to the pivot table and click on the dropdown beside Row Labels.
  • After that, select Sort Smallest to Largest and click OK.

Insert Pivot Table to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel

  • Now’s time to insert the bar chart. To do so, click on the Insert tab and go to,

Insert → Charts → Insert Column or Bar Chart → Clustered Bar

  • Hence, You will have your bar chart arranged in descending order.

Insert Pivot Table to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel

Read More: How to Change Bar Chart Color Based on Category in Excel


3. Use Categories in Reverse Order Option

This method only works if the data in the table is sorted from largest to smallest. The procedure for this method is discussed below.

Steps:

  • First of all, right-click on the vertical axis of the bar chart and select Format Axis.

  • Then, from the Axis Options, check the box of Categories in reverse order.

Use Categories in Reverse Order Option to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel

  • Consequently, you will see that the bar chart is arranged in descending order.

Use Categories in Reverse Order Option to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel

Read More: Reverse Legend Order of Stacked Bar Chart in Excel


4. Apply Formula to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel

Now we will use the SORTBY, FILTER, and VLOOKUP functions to sort a bar chart in descending order in Excel. Keep reading to learn the steps.

Steps:

  • First, add three new columns named Selection, Sorted Name, and Sorted Score.
  • Next, fill the Selection column with the value 1.

Apply Formula to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel

  • Then select cell E5, write down the following formula, and press Enter.
=SORTBY(FILTER(B5:B10,D5:D10=1),FILTER(C5:C10,D5:D10=1),1)

Apply Formula to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel

  • After that, select cell F5 and type the formula given below.
=VLOOKUP(E5#,B5:C10,2,FALSE)
  • Then click OK.

Apply Formula to Sort Bar Chart in Descending Order in Excel

  • Now, to insert the bar chart, click on the Insert tab and go to,

Insert → Charts → Insert Column or Bar Chart → Clustered Bar

  • Finally, you will get your bar chart in descending order.

how to sort bar chart in descending order excel

Notes
  • The second method only works if the data is already arranged in descending order.
  • While sorting data, the test scores are sorted from Smallest to Largest as we want the largest bar on the top and the smallest bar on the bottom.

Read More: How to Add Grand Total to Bar Chart in Excel


Download Practice Workbook

Download this practice workbook to exercise while reading this article.


Conclusion

Thanks for making it this far. I hope you find this article useful. Now you know four easy ways to sort a bar chart in descending order in Excel. Please let us know if you have any further queries, and feel free to give us any recommendations in the comment section below.


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Alif Bin Hussain
Alif Bin Hussain

Hello! Welcome to my Profile. Currently, I am working and doing research on Microsoft Excel and here I will be posting articles related to this. My last educational degree was BSc and my program was Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). I am a fresh graduate with a great interest in research and development. I do my best to acquire new information and try to find out the most efficient solutions.

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