Data in an Excel spreadsheet is usually unorganized, unsorted, and hard to read.
There are many techniques to make the data easier to read, such as using filters and sorting the data, however one of the best ones is sorting data alphabetically.
Luckily, there is a very easy function to sort alphabetically in Excel, while ensuring that the data remains intact and does not get mixed up.
Sort Alphabetically in Excel
Excel has a built-in feature that allows you to sort alphabetically from A-Z or from Z-A. However, before using the feature you need to make sure of the following:
- Dataset cannot contain blank rows: Your dataset cannot contain any blank rows or values. If your dataset does contain blank rows, then the sort function will ignore anything below the blank row and will only alphabetically sort the rows above. Here is how to find and delete blank rows in Excel.
- Headers must be differentiated: The headers for your dataset must be differentiated from the rest of the data somehow, either by being bolded or having a different color/background. If the headers are not differentiated, then they will also be sorted alphabetically along with your data.
With the two things listed above taken care of, you can now proceed with the steps to sort alphabetically in Excel.
1. Select the header cell from the column you want to sort alphabetically.
2. Click on Data from the top menu and then click on the AZ option located in the Sort and Filter section (See image below)
The data will now be sorted alphabetically from A to Z as you can see in the image below.
While the data is being sorted according to column B in the example above, the values in column C are still intact. The price for Chicago before sorting alphabetically was $544 and it is still $544 after the sort function is executed.
Note: If you want to sort from Z to A, then select the Z to A option, instead of the A to Z option.
If you would like to learn how to sort multiple columns alphabetically in Excel, then you can follow the tutorial below.