Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Sorting by Colors.

Sorting by Colors

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 25, 2018)

Excel allows you to sort the data in your worksheets by any number of attributes. One of the things that you can sort by is colors. Specifically, Excel allows you to sort by both the color of the cell and the color of the text within the cell. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the data that you want to sort or select a cell within the data you want to sort.
  2. Display the Data tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Sort tool. (It is in the Sort & Filter group.) Excel displays the Sort dialog box.
  4. Using the drop-down list in the Sort On column, select either Cell Color or Font Color, depending on which one you want to use in your sort. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Sort dialog box when sorting by color.

  6. Using the drop-down list in the Order column, select the color by which you want to sort. (Excel allows you to sort by any color within the range you are sorting.)
  7. Using the second (right-most) drop-down list in the Order column, specify whether the color you picked in step 5 should be on top or on bottom.
  8. If you want to additionally sort by other colors, click the Add Level button and repeat steps 4 through 6 for the additional level.
  9. Click OK.

At this point your data is sorted according to the specifications you created.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7926) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Sorting by Colors.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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