Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: Controlling Sorting Order.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 11, 2018)
If you have used Excel for more than a week, you probably already know how to sort information in your worksheet. You can use sorting to arrange a list in either ascending or descending order. Ascending order for the English language is from 0–9, A–Z; descending order is the reverse. The sorting order for other languages will be different. To specify the sorting order you simply choose the Ascending or Descending radio buttons in the Sort dialog box or, in Excel 2007, choose A to Z or Z to A in the Order drop-down list.
You can also affect sort order by indicating whether Excel should pay attention to the case of the text in your cells. If a sort is case sensitive, then items are sorted A-Z and then a-z for ascending sorts. If a sort does not pay attention to case, then uppercase and lowercase letters are treated the same.
To specify whether Excel should pay attention to case, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Sort dialog box.
Figure 2. The Sort Options dialog box.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12575) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Controlling Sorting Order.
Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!
Excel is great at sorting information in a worksheet. Sometimes it can be a bit confusing as to how to set up the sort ...Discover More
If you use graphics in a worksheet that are associated with certain cells (perhaps images of parts or icons for worksheet ...Discover More
Information in a cell can be entered using line feeds, which results in multiple lines of data in the same cell. If you ...Discover More
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.