How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Compute Expert

How to Sort Numbers in Excel


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In this tutorial, you will learn how to sort numbers in excel completely.

When working with numbers in excel, we sometimes need to sort them in a particular order. This is so we can analyze them easier and/or process them faster to get the results we need.

We can sort numbers in excel by using the sort feature or by using a combination of excel formulas. Want to master various methods to sort numbers in excel? Read this tutorial until its last part!







How to Sort Numbers in Excel in Ascending Order (Smallest to Largest)

There are two orders that we most commonly base our numbers sorting process on: smallest to largest (ascending) and largest to smallest (descending). We will discuss the way to sort our numbers in excel from the smallest to the largest one first.

To help us sort our numbers in ascending order quickly, we can utilize the data sorting feature in excel. The steps to use this feature for our purpose are as follows.

  1. Highlight the column cell range where the numbers you want to sort are

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers in Ascending Order, Step 1

  2. Go to the Data tab and click the Sort Smallest to Largest button there

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers in Ascending Order, Step 2

  3. In the dialog box that shows up, choose between the two choices you have there. Choose “Expand the selection” if you want to sort adjacent columns too with the numbers column as the sorting basis. Choose “Continue with the current selection” if you want to sort only the numbers in the column you highlight.

    Click the Sort… button after you choose

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers in Ascending Order, Step 3

  4. Done! You have sorted the numbers!

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers in Ascending Order, Step 4




How to Sort Numbers in Excel in Descending Order (Largest to Smallest)

To sort numbers in descending order instead, we can use similar steps we use to sort them in ascending order previously. However, in the step 2 from those steps, you should click the Sort Largest to Smallest button instead.

How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of the Sort Largest to Smallest Button Location

You will immediately get your numbers in descending order that way!

How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of the Result Example of Sorting Numbers in Descending Order




How to Sort Numbers in Excel with a Multi-Level Sorting

Need to sort your data table with the basis of two or more numbers columns that you have? Here are the steps that you can follow to do it.

  1. Place your cell cursor in the data table that has those numbers columns you want to base your sorting process on

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers with a Multi-Level Sorting, Step 1

  2. Go to the Data tab and click the Sort Smallest to Largest button there

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers with a Multi-Level Sorting, Step 2

  3. In the dialog box that shows up, input the first sorting basis you want to prioritize for your sorting process. Input by picking the choices in the Column, Sort on, and Order dropdowns

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers with a Multi-Level Sorting, Step 3

  4. Click the Add Level button in the dialog box to add the next sorting basis level for your sorting process. Click the Copy Level button to copy the sorting basis level you currently highlight in the new level

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers with a Multi-Level Sorting, Step 4

  5. Input another sorting basis you have in the new line

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers with a Multi-Level Sorting, Step 5

  6. Repeat steps 4-5 until you have inputted all your sorting basis levels
  7. Click the OK button in the dialog box after you finish inputting all your sorting basis levels
  8. Done! You have sorted your numbers with a multi-level sorting process!

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers with a Multi-Level Sorting, Step 8




How to Sort Numbers in a Row in Excel

Although not often, you may sometimes need to sort numbers in a row, not in a column. To do that, follow these steps below.

  1. Place your cell cursor in the data table that has those numbers columns you want to base your sorting process on

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers in a Row, Step 1

  2. Go to the Data tab and click the Sort Smallest to Largest button there

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers in a Row, Step 2

  3. In the dialog box that shows up, input the first sorting basis you want to prioritize for your sorting process. Input by picking the choices in the Column, Sort on, and Order dropdowns

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers in a Row, Step 3

  4. Click the Add Level button in the dialog box to add the next sorting basis level for your sorting process. Click the Copy Level button to copy the sorting basis level you currently highlight in the new level

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers in a Row, Step 4

  5. Input another sorting basis you have in the new line

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers in a Row, Step 5

  6. Repeat steps 4-5 until you have inputted all your sorting basis levels

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers in a Row, Step 6

  7. Click the OK button in the dialog box after you finish inputting all your sorting basis levels
  8. Done! You have sorted your numbers with a multi-level sorting process!

    How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of How to Sort Numbers in a Row, Step 8




How to Sort Numbers in Excel Using Formulas: SMALL/LARGE ROW

Don’t want to use the excel sorting feature to sort your numbers and want to use formulas instead? You can do that if you combine SMALL/LARGE with ROW formulas.



Use SMALL with ROW if you want to sort your numbers in ascending order. If you want to sort them in descending order, use LARGE with ROW instead.

Here is the general writing form of the combination between SMALL/LARGE and ROW to sort your numbers in excel.

SMALL + ROW (sort numbers in ascending order)

= SMALL ( numbers_cell_range , ROW ( first_row_cell_coordinate ) )


LARGE + ROW (sort numbers in descending order)

= LARGE ( numbers_cell_range , ROW ( first_row_cell_coordinate ) )


You should place dollar symbols in the numbers cell range when you write the formula to get the smallest/largest number. Dollar symbols will make your numbers cell range becomes an absolute reference.

Because of the absolute reference, you just need to copy your formula writing to get the sorting results of your numbers. Copy your formula until you have got all your numbers in your sorting results.

For a better understanding of the SMALL/LARGE and ROW combination, here is its implementation example in excel.

How to Sort Numbers in Excel - Screenshot of the SMALL/LARGE and ROW Combination Implemenetation Example

As you can see there, we can sort our numbers by using the SMALL/LARGE and ROW formulas combination.

We input cell A1 to ROW in our first formula writing to get the smallest/largest number in our sorting results. When we copy our formula, the cell input moves its row so we can get our numbers in their correct order.



Exercise

After you have learned how to sort numbers in excel completely, now let’s do an exercise. You do this so you can understand better the implementation of the lessons from the tutorial.

Download the exercise file and run all its instructions. Download the answer key file if you have finished the exercise and want to check your answers.

Link to the exercise file:
Download here

Instructions

Do all these instructions in the sheet with the instruction number name!
  1. Sort the numbers in the “Number” column in descending order! Don’t sort the numbers in the “No” column too!
  2. Sort the table based on the product (ascending) first, then the reliability (descending), and then the monthly production capacity (descending)!
  3. Sort the numbers in the “No” column using SMALL/LARGE and ROW formulas combination! Sort them in descending and ascending orders in the appropriate gray-colored column!


Link to the answer key file:
Download here



Additional Note

You can sort dates and times also with the ways you sort numbers in excel. That is because excel also considers dates and times as number data types.



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