Sorting Records

When working in Access sort data to make it easier to work with, including text-based and numerical data in your Access database.


Access 2007 Once a database is populated, it's time to think about how to look at—or analyze—the data. One basic way to analyze data is to sort it. Sorting data is easy with Access 2007. In this lesson, we'll show you how to sort text-based and numerical data using common sorting commands, as well as how to clear sorts.

Sorting records

Sorting records

Sorting is probably the simplest way to look at data because it keeps similar things together. In our bookstore database, for example, we could sort our data a few ways:

Access 2007 allows you to sort the records in your database tables based on a field or value that is either text—like an author's last name—or numerical—like a customer's zip code or a book's price. Depending on the type of value, Access offers different sorting options.

Sorting on text values

When Access 2007 sorts on a text value, it offers the two options described in the table below:

Sort OptionAlso CalledDescription
A to ZAscendingValues closest to A are displayed first
Z to ADescendingValues closest to Z are displayed first

To sort based on a text value:

Sorting on numerical values

Access 2007 also offers two options when sorting based on a numerical value. These options are described in the table below:

Sort OptionAlso CalledDescription
Smallest to LargestAscendingValues closest to 1 are displayed first
Largest to SmallestDescendingValues farthest from 1 are displayed first

To sort based on a numerical value:

Clear All SortsClear All Sorts Command


If you haven't already done so, save the sample Ready2Read database to your computer.

  • Open the Customers table and the Books table.
  • Sort the Last Name field in the Customers table from Z to A.
  • Sort the Books table according to Price using the Lowest to Highest option.
  • Clear your sorts.