Sorting, Grouping, and Filtering Cells

The Excel sort function and Excel filter function are highly useful when working with large amounts of data.

Sorting, grouping, and filtering

A Microsoft Excel spreadsheet can contain a great deal of information. Sometimes you may find that you need to reorder or sort that information, create groups, or filter information to be able to use it most effectively.


Sorting lists is a common spreadsheet task that allows you to easily reorder your data. The most common type of sorting is alphabetical ordering, which you can do in ascending or descending order.

To sort in alphabetical order:


You can Sort in reverse alphabetical order by choosing Sort Z to A in the list.

To sort from smallest to largest:

You can sort in reverse numerical order by choosing From Largest to Smallest in the list.

To sort multiple levels:

Sort from Data Tab
Custom Sort Dialog Box
Add Level
Sort 2nd Level

The spreadsheet has been sorted. All of the categories are organized in alphabetical order, and within each category the unit cost is arranged from smallest to largest.

Remember that all of the information and data is still here—it's just in a different order.