Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 a Range of Cells.

Sorting a Range of Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 13, 2015)

1

Peter asked if it is possible to sort a range of cells, and just that range. In other words, not to sort entire rows or entire columns. The answer is a resounding "yes," Excel allows you to do the sorting rather easily.

As an example, let's assume you want to sort the cells in the range of C10:F40, based on the values in column D. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Select the range of cells.
  2. Display the Data tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Sort tool. Excel displays the Sort dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Sort dialog box.

  5. Using the Sort By drop down list, choose Column D.
  6. Make sure the My Data Has Headers check box is cleared.
  7. Click on OK.

You can also sort by using the Sort Ascending or Sort Descending tools on the Data tab of the ribbon. The steps you follow are just a bit different:

  1. Select the range of cells.
  2. Press the Tab key to make sure that column D is selected. You can tell when it is selected because one of the cells in column D will appear in white, rather than being shaded.
  3. Click on Sort Ascending or Sort Descending.

Regardless of the technique you use, only the range of selected cells is sorted. All other information in the data table remains unaffected.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11101) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Sorting a Range of Cells.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Determining Combinations to Make a Total

If you have a range of cells that contain values, you may wonder which combinations of those cells should be used to meet ...

Discover More

Running Out of Memory

Do you get an error when you try to insert just one more chart in your workbook? It could be because of an obscure ...

Discover More

Macros On the Quick Access Toolbar

When you configure Word to your needs, a common thing to do is to add commands and macros to the Quick Access Toolbar. ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Sorting by Colors

Need to sort your data based on the color of the cell or the color of the text within the cell? Excel makes it easy to do ...

Discover More

Storing Sorting Criteria

Need to do the same sorting operation over and over again? Excel doesn't provide a way to save your sorting criteria, but ...

Discover More

Sorting Letters and Numbers

Sorting information in a worksheet can be confusing when Excel applies sorting rules of which you are unaware. This is ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three less than 5?

2017-01-13 13:40:49

Peter

Hi,

Can a worksheet containing a Pivot table, and additional columns related to this pivot table, be sorted just like a column in the pivot table can be?

Thanks,


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.