How to Sort Data in Google Sheets


In this article, we’ll learn how to sort data in Google Sheets. We’ll see the built-in functionality in Google Sheets for sorting data as well as the SORT function.

Sometimes data in your spreadsheet could be disorganized and difficult to read. One reason for it is that the data might not be sorted. Generally, people prefer to read through alphabets or numbers in a particular order.

When data is organized in order, then it is not only convenient for viewers but also for retrieval, manipulation, or computation. Therefore, a user must be familiar with sorting data in spreadsheets, and that’s what we are seeking to teach in this article.

So how do we go about this problem?

We’ll see two different methods for sorting data in Google Sheets. First, we’ll try out the built-in sorting function, before using the SORT function. We’ll also distinguish between single-level and multi-level sorting and familiarize the readers with multi-level sorting.

So let’s start without any hassle.



How to Sort Data in Google Sheets (Built-in Functionality)

In the following tutorials, we’ll make use of the built-in sorting functionality in Google Sheets. This functionality is convenient and allows quick sorting of the data. It also allows for multi-level sorting.

We’ll be using our Names Data spreadsheet. We’ll experiment with this sheet and see how the sorting function can be useful.




As you can see that this sheet is unsorted. Therefore, we’ll jump straight into the tutorials to sort the data in this sheet.


Sorting the Name in Alphabetical order

In this tutorial, we will sort the Name column in our sheet. This will be a single-level sort, as we’ll apply it to a single column only. Sorting in alphabetical order can be:

  • Ascending Order
  • Descending Order

We will apply the ascending order sort here. However, you can try descending order yourself.

  1. Let’s see the Name column. You might have noticed that the names aren’t sorted. This is a flaw because it appears to be disorganized and affects readability.Spreadsheet


  1. We will sort this column in ‘Ascending order’. To do that, you need to select this column first.



  1. A menu appears upon the right-mouse click. Click on the Sort Range option.



  1. A menu will appear thereafter. You need to check Data has header row option.



  1. As we are sorting it in ascending order, we’ll select the following option. For descending order, you can select the other option.



  1. Now, click on the Sort button.



  1. The Name column is now sorted from A to Z.



  1. We’re done. Now, you can sort a single column alphabetically. In the case of numeric data, we can repeat the same steps to sort our data.

We have seen how to sort a single column. Next, we’ll see how to sort multiple columns through the built-in sorting function in Google Sheets.



Multi-level Sorting in Google Sheets

In this tutorial, we’ll see how to do multi-level sort in Google Sheets. Multi-level sort allows us to define sorting based on two or more different columns. We’ll know what multi-level means once we’re done with this tutorial.

To demonstrate this concept, we have added a Salary column to our Names Data spreadsheet.




We’ll use these two columns in this spreadsheet for multi-level sorting. So let’s jump into the tutorial.

  1. Select both the columns in the spreadsheet.



  1. We’ll repeat the same steps as the previous tutorial until we get to the sorting menu.



  1. The Sorting for the Name column is already defined. We’ll click on the Add another sort column to define sorting for the Salary column.



  1. Once you click on the Add another sort column button, you’ll see then by option appear below Sort by. Since we have two columns in our spreadsheet, therefore, Google Sheets automatically selects the Salary column. Also, we select the descending order for the Salary column.



  1. In the case of more than two columns, you can choose any column by clicking on the dropdown.



  1. Click on the Sort and you’ll get the following result.



  1. So what is the role of the multi-level sort here? If you look closely, you might notice that those names which start with the same alphabet are sorted based on the corresponding salary value. Google Sheets look for the salary column whenever it has to decide the sorting of names that start with the same alphabet.



We’re done. You’ve seen single-level and multi-level sorting in Google Sheets. Next, we’ll see how to use the SORT function in Google Sheets to sort our data.



How to Sort Data in Google Sheets (By Using SORT Function)

Luckily, we’ve already covered this topic in great detail in one of our articles “How to Use SORT Function in Google Sheets”. It demonstrates the use of the SORT function in detail. You can read this article to gain insights about this alternative sorting technique in Google Sheets.

That should be all you need. You now know how to sort data in Google Sheets by using the built-in function as well as the SORT function. Check out our other numerous Google Sheets formulas to create even more complex and useful functions in Google Sheets.


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