April 6, 2021

How to Sort Alphabetically in Google Sheet

In this lesson we will learn how to sort alphabetically in Google Sheet. In google sheet sorting a column is very easy. Let’s explore it with a simple example.

Below we have a table containing a list of students in a Motor training school and the miles driven by each one.

Column A contains student names and column B contains the miles driven. Since it’s the daily driving log hence column A contains duplicate student names.

Now we will sort the column A alphabetically in ascending order.

  • To do that first select the column A by a left click on the column letter A.
  • Then click ‘Data’ in menu bar and select the option ‘Sort Range’ as follows.

  • Now in the below pop up select the checkbox ‘Data has header row’ since in our table there is a header row. Like for column A , ‘Student’ is the header. Here we have selected A->Z. And then click ‘Sort’.

  • As you can see below the column A has been sorted alphabetically in this way but column B is not sorted accordingly so the miles driven for each student in column B  is not properly aligned now.

  • Now let’s select both columns of the table and again click ‘Sort range’ option under ‘Data’ menu of the Google sheet. Here in the below pop up again select the checkbox for header and then click ‘Add another sort column’.

  • Here the column B that is the column with header ‘Miles Driven’ has been added. For this column also we have selected to sort by A->Z. Now click ‘Sort’. Remember any time you can remove the additional sort columns by clicking the Bin icon beside the them.

  • As you can see below now the column A and column B have been sorted properly. The column A has been sorted in alphabetically ascending order. And based on the data in column A, the value in column B has been sorted in ascending order as well since column B contains numeric value.

  • Now let’s see what will happen if we select the sorting order as Z->A for column B as follows.

  • As you can see below now also the column A and column B have been sorted properly. The column A has been sorted in alphabetically ascending order. But now based on the data in column A, the value in column B has been sorted in descending order.

  • If your column don’t contain header the you can sort a single column in alphabetically ascending or descending order with any of the following ways as well.
  • Click the small drop down icon beside the column letter. Based on this column your entire sheet will be sorted.

  • Select ‘Sort sheet A->Z’ or ‘Sort sheet Z->A’ as per your requirement.

  • But in this process you cannot exclude your column header from sorting. The header will be also considered for sorting. But note here, in this process the sort is applied on the entire sheet hence no issue with data mismatch between columns. Even if we sort from any one column letter it will sort all columns in the current sheet accordingly. We have removed our table header and sorted in this way. See below both columns have been sorted in alphabetically ascending order. In this way we cannot sort one column in ascending order and another column in descending order based on the value in previous column as we did with earlier process. In this process all columns will be sorted in same order as selected.

  • You can also choose ‘Sort sheet A->Z’ or ‘Sort sheet Z->A’ by selecting any column of the table and then right click on it. Based on the selected column your entire sheet will be sorted.
  • You can also get the same ‘Sort sheet A->Z’ or ‘Sort sheet Z->A’ options by selecting any cell of the column and then click ‘Data’ menu. Based on the selected column your entire sheet will be sorted.

You can also check here to understand how to sort data in Excel.

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