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How To Sort Huge Lists In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Sorting huge lists in Excel can save a lot of time and effort: By sorting data in different ways, you can quickly find what you need and get insights from your data. Excel provides many different sorting options that can be customized to your needs.
  • Basic sorting by one column is straightforward: To sort a list by one column, simply select the data you want to sort and use the ‘sort’ command. Make sure to choose the best sorting options for your data, such as sorting alphabetically, numerically, or by date.
  • Sorting by multiple columns can be a pro technique: For more complex sorting scenarios, you can use the ‘sort by’ and ‘then by’ columns options to sort by multiple criteria. You can also create custom sorting and filtering criteria using the ‘advanced filter’ and ‘custom sort’ commands.

Struggling to organize and manage large lists in Excel? You can easily sort and manage your data efficiently with a few simple steps. Learn how to save time and effort while sorting huge lists in Excel!

How to Sort Huge Lists in Excel – Sorting Basics

Sorting data in Excel can be tough. But, don’t worry! I’ve found the basics of sorting help save time and organize data. Let’s explore what sorting is and how it works in Excel. Then, we’ll go over the different sorts that can be used. By the end, you’ll be an Excel sorting pro!

How to Sort Huge Lists in Excel - Sorting Basics-How to Sort Huge Lists in Excel,

Image credits: by David Arnold

What is Sorting and How Does It Work in Excel?

Sorting in Excel is an organizing process. It arranges data based on one or more criteria. It’s often used for managing big amounts of information that can’t be managed manually. Sorting changes the rows based on the values in certain columns. Here’s how to sort huge lists in Excel.

  1. Select the list you want to sort.
  2. Go to the “Data” tab and click “Sort.”
  3. Choose the column you want to sort by, and pick ascending or descending order.
  4. Click OK to finish sorting.

There are many sorts of sorting. For instance, when sorting a list with different columns, Excel can be told how to arrange the first column by selecting custom sort. Re-sorting or unsorting data can also be done quickly using Excel’s features.

Back in 1989, sorting in Excel was introduced as part of Microsoft Office Suite 1.0. Since then, this tool has improved in flexibility and functionality.

In the article “Different Sorting Options – What to Choose for Your Data,” we’ll explore more sorting techniques, like advanced custom sorts and complex data prioritizing.

Different Sorting Options – What to Choose for Your Data

Want to sort large lists in Excel? Choose the best option for your data. Here’s a table of sorting options and when to use them:

Sorting Option Use Case
Sort A to Z or Smallest to Largest Alphabetical or numerical in ascending order
Sort Z to A or Largest to Smallest Alphabetical or numerical in descending order
Custom Sort For complex sorting needs, like prioritizing certain values, or arranging by more than one criterion
Filtering Temporarily hide rows that don’t meet criteria, without rearranging the list

Note: Custom sorting & filtering are not technically “sorting” functions in Excel.

Fun fact! You can also sort by color in Excel. If you used conditional formatting, you can sort based on fill color, font color, or cell icon. This can help you identify patterns or outliers in large datasets.

Ready for the next topic? Let’s talk about Sorting by One Column – Basic Steps.

Sorting by One Column – Basic Steps

I am a passionate Excel user, and I know sorting data can be tedious – especially with huge lists. But, the correct approach can make sorting data a cinch. In this part, I will tell you how to sort by one column using simple steps. There are three main topics you’ll learn: selecting the data, using the ‘sort’ command, and picking the best sorting options. After reading this guide, you’ll be able to sort your data quickly and correctly.

Sorting by One Column - Basic Steps-How to Sort Huge Lists in Excel,

Image credits: by Yuval Duncun

Selecting the Data You Want to Sort

Open Excel and the data you wish to sort.

Select a cell in the column you want to sort.

Click ‘Sort & Filter‘ in the ‘Editing‘ section of the Home tab.

Choose ‘Sort Smallest to Largest‘ or ‘Sort Largest to Smallest‘ depending on your data.

Your selected column should be sorted!

When selecting data to sort, it is important to choose the correct column as this will determine how your data is organized. For example, if you are sorting employee information by salary, select the salary column to arrange from least-paid to most-paid.

Selecting only one column helps keep data organized. Otherwise, it could result in a jumbled mess.

Filtering options can be used to find specific criteria in a particular order contextually. This method makes it easier to search for specific cells and filter out unwanted cells from rows.

As an example, Jenny needed an alphabetical list of products sold over 12 months. She had a large dataset with all orders. She needed to access and then shortlist her data efficiently.

Now, let’s learn How to Use ‘Sort‘ Command in Excel.

How to Use ‘Sort’ Command

To use the ‘Sort’ Command in Excel, follow these easy steps!

  1. Highlight the desired column by clicking its letter at the top.
  2. Find the ‘Data’ tab on the ribbon toolbar and select the ‘Sort & Filter’ button.
  3. Then choose between ‘Sort A to Z’ or ‘Sort Z to A’.
  4. Press OK and wait for Excel to sort your data!

Using Sort Command can help you quickly and accurately sort different kinds of data sets. Before you start sorting, check for any inconsistencies in the data set. To make sorting easier, you can copy and paste only a portion of the list into a separate sheet. Also, remember that the order you choose affects how other functions work with sorted data. Finally, choose the best sorting option for your data!

Choose the Best Sorting Options for Your Data

To choose the best sorting options for your data, follow these 5 steps:

  1. Select the range of cells you want to sort.
  2. Click the “Data” tab in the Excel ribbon and choose “Sort”.
  3. In the “sort by” drop-down menu, select the column you want to sort by.
  4. Choose between ascending or descending order.
  5. Click OK.

It is important to choose the right sorting options for your data, as it affects how easy it is to read and understand your spreadsheet. For example, if you need to sort a large list of numbers from largest to smallest, a descending order is the best choice.

When choosing sorting options, it helps to consider which columns are most relevant and important to your analysis. If you are analyzing sales data, sorting by date first then product would be more useful than just alphabetically by product name.

To make sorting large datasets with multiple columns more accurate, consider using filters or conditional formatting. Filters can help narrow down the dataset before sorting, so only relevant rows are included in the final sorting.

Grouping related columns together before sorting can also make it easier to compare and analyze related data points.

Lastly, sorting by multiple columns involves more complex forms of sorting. This requires two or more columns to be used simultaneously for sorting.

Sorting by Multiple Columns – Pro Techniques

Tired of sorting through lists in Excel? Let me share expert tips to sort data by multiple columns, quickly and easily! We’ll discuss:

  1. selecting data from multiple columns
  2. the ‘Sort’ command with multiple columns
  3. ‘Sort by’ and ‘Then by’ columns

You’ll be able to sort through big amounts of data at ease after reading this!

Sorting by Multiple Columns - Pro Techniques-How to Sort Huge Lists in Excel,

Image credits: by Joel Duncun

How to Select Data in Multiple Columns

To select data from multiple columns, you need to follow a few steps. Open your Excel spreadsheet and look for the columns with the data you want. Hold down the ‘Ctrl‘ key and click on each column header. This will highlight the selected columns with a blue border.

Let’s make an example using


tags. With three columns: name, age, and gender. To select data from ‘name‘ and ‘age‘, hold Ctrl and click on both column headers until they are both highlighted. You can do the opposite to deselect a column.

When sorting data values based on two or more fields, you should understand how this feature works. Selecting multiple columns can help you get reliable and organized results.

A tip: use absolute referencing when making tables. This will keep your formulae or functions unchanged when you drag them across different cells.

Now let’s look at “How to Use ‘Sort’ Command with Multiple Columns“.

How to Use ‘Sort’ Command with Multiple Columns

Want to sort through data in Excel by multiple columns? Here’s how:

  1. Select the data range you want to sort.
  2. Go to the ‘Data’ tab & click ‘Sort’.
  3. In the ‘Sort’ dialog box, choose the first column to sort under the ‘Column’ dropdown menu.
  4. Click ‘Add Level’ & select another column. You can add up to 3 levels.

Excel will sort your data according to each level in order. First, it sorts by the column under level one. Then, any ties are sorted by level two. Lastly, any ties are resolved using level three.

This technique is really helpful when dealing with huge lists. For example, you can arrange products based on their type (level one), sales date (level two), & amount sold (level three). So you can quickly analyze sales performance.

Follow these steps & make sorting on Excel easier & more efficient. Check out “How to Use ‘Sort by’ and ‘Then by’ Columns for Advanced Sorting” for even more advanced sorting techniques.

How to Use ‘Sort by’ and ‘Then by’ Columns for Advanced Sorting

Advanced sorting can be achieved by using ‘Sort by’ and ‘Then by’ columns. Here are the five steps:

  1. Select the data to sort.
  2. Click the “Data” tab, then the “Sort” button.
  3. In the “Sort” dialog box, choose a column in the “Sort by” drop-down menu.
  4. Select an order (e.g. A to Z or Z to A).
  5. For extra columns, click “Add Level” and select another.

This technique is helpful in spotting trends, duplicates and particular values. For example, if you have a customer spreadsheet with order number and date, sort first by order number, then date within each group.

Filtering data is another useful way to sift through large Excel lists. ‘Filtering Data – Quick Solutions To Find What You Need’ will help you master these powerful features.

Filtering Data – Quick Solutions to Find What You Need

I’m an Excel lover. Sorting through huge data sets can be a tough job. It takes time to locate the info you need, but Filtering Data can help. In this section, we’ll talk about Filtering Data and its fast solutions in Excel. We’ll also discuss selecting data, using the ‘Filter’ command and the best filtering opts for your data. Master these techniques, and sifting through large sets of data will be a breeze!

Filtering Data - Quick Solutions to Find What You Need-How to Sort Huge Lists in Excel,

Image credits: by Yuval Jones

Selecting the Data for Filtering


Look at your data and decide what to filter out or keep. Select the range of cells that contain the data you want to sort, including one extra row or column on either side. Use the shortcut keys Ctrl + Shift + L to get a drop-down arrow for each column heading. Click on them and pick which values or text strings you want to display. Alternatively, go to ‘Filter’ under ‘Data’ tab and filter out/hide certain values by disabling checkboxes. As per Yahoo Finance source, “Filtering helps bring clarity and focus back into a complex database“. Let’s now look into Basic Steps of Using the ‘Filter’ Command and understand how it can help us work with filtered data more efficiently.

Basic Steps of Using the ‘Filter’ Command

Filtering data is a great way to quickly find what you need in a big dataset. If you’re using Excel, the ‘Filter’ command makes it easy to organize and sort. Here’s the basic steps:

  1. Select the dataset with CTRL+A.
  2. Then, go to the ‘Data’ tab and click ‘Filter’. Dropdown arrows will appear next to the column headings.
  3. Click one of these arrows to open up filtering options for that column. You can choose to filter by values or text strings – or use more advanced methods like sorting or color-coding.
  4. Once you apply the filter, only those rows matching the criteria will be visible. To clear filters, use the ‘Clear Filter’ button near each dropdown menu.

This method helps you find the right information quickly and efficiently, plus it organizes it so it’s easier to read. For example, I had to find the hot prospects in a list of sales leads. With filters, I was able to narrow it down and find them without going through hundreds of records.

Stay tuned to learn the best filtering options for your data!

Choosing the Best Filtering Options for Your Data

Are you looking for the best filtering options for your data? It’s essential to understand your objectives first, and define relevant information for analysis. Additionally, make sure your source data is clean before beginning any process – this eliminates redundancy and ensures accuracy.

To master Excel skills, consider learning advanced sorting and filtering techniques. Advanced Filter, sorting by color, and cell highlighting techniques can help sort large datasets quickly and efficiently. Knowing these steps will help speed up analysis, and also improve the quality of insights.

Specifically, you can use Slicers to filter data in real-time. Select values from a list with ease, without manually choosing filtering criteria from drop-down menus. You can also filter by selection, selecting one or more specific values from a cell, and using them as filtering criteria. Lastly, create custom filters to create unique conditions, like numbers greater than a certain value, or text with specific characters.

Advanced Sorting and Filtering Techniques – Mastering Excel Skills

Struggling to sort and filter a large list in Excel? A difficult and time-consuming task. In this chapter, we dig deep into sorting and filtering techniques. Three sections are shared to master Excel skills. Learn how to use the ‘Advanced Filter’ to filter data like a pro. Make custom sorting and filtering criteria to get the desired results. Use ‘Custom Sort’ command for complex sorting scenarios. Fasten your seatbelt and let’s go!

Advanced Sorting and Filtering Techniques - Mastering Excel Skills-How to Sort Huge Lists in Excel,

Image credits: by James Arnold

How to Use ‘Advanced Filter’ Command

To use the ‘Advanced Filter‘ Command in Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Select all the data that needs filtering.
  2. Go to the ‘Data‘ tab and click the ‘Advanced‘ button in the ‘Sort & Filter’ group.
  3. In the advanced filter dialog box, choose to filter in place or copy the filtered data to another location.
  4. Select your filter criteria and click OK.

Advanced Filters offer more than basic filters. They can search for patterns, filter multiple columns at once, and enable conditions based on logical operators. They have been around since Excel 95 and are still a must-have for those working with large datasets.

For custom sorting and filtering criteria, users can create their own rules. This allows them to meet their particular needs rather than relying on the pre-existing Excel filters.

Creating Custom Sorting and Filtering Criteria

Unleash the power of data manipulation in Excel by creating custom sorting and filtering criteria! For example, to sort a list alphabetically by name or numerically by age, simply select the column header and choose the desired sort option from the dropdown menu.

For more complex sorting needs, use the “Custom Sort” feature to add multiple levels of sorting criteria with their respective priorities. To filter data, select filter options within columns to determine which pieces of data to display based on predetermined conditions.

So don’t limit your Excel skills – learn how to use custom sorting and filtering criteria to unlock the full potential of Excel!

Using ‘Custom Sort’ Command for Complex Sorting Scenarios.

Sorting data in Excel is a useful feature for recognizing patterns, making comparisons, and organizing your info. Complex sorting scenarios may need special techniques that are not available in the standard sort features. This is where the Custom Sort command comes in handy.

Here is a guide with 6 steps on how to use it:

  1. Select the range of cells you want to sort.
  2. Click the Data tab, then choose Sort.
  3. In the Sort dialog box, tap Options button.
  4. Under Orientation, select Sort Left to Right if you have rows and columns with headings.
  5. Under My List, pick any custom lists you’ve made before.
  6. In the Sort By section, choose how you want Excel to sort your data.

The Custom Sort command lets you tailor your sort options based on specific criteria, or multiple criteria separated by commas. You can also sort by font color or cell color.

Using this command for complex sorting scenarios provides you more control over how your info is sorted according to certain requirements such as date ranges, numerical order, or alphabetical order based on certain criteria.

For instance, if you have a large database of customer information including their geographic location and purchase history. Custom Sort enables you to filter out customers who made purchases within a certain time frame and live in specific regions while leaving out others.

Five Facts About Sorting Huge Lists in Excel:

  • ✅ Excel allows you to sort up to 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns. (Source: Microsoft)
  • ✅ Sorting huge lists can be optimized by using Excel’s filters, pivot tables, and conditional formatting. (Source: Ablebits)
  • ✅ It is important to select the entire data range before sorting to avoid losing any data. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ Excel’s sort function allows for sorting by multiple columns, customized sort orders, and case sensitivity. (Source: Exceljet)
  • ✅ For even larger datasets, external tools like Power Query can be used to sort and filter data more efficiently. (Source: Spreadsheeto)

FAQs about How To Sort Huge Lists In Excel

How to sort huge lists in Excel?

Sorting a massive list in Excel can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. Here are the steps you need to follow to sort humongous lists in Excel:

  1. Select the entire range of cells that contain the data you want to sort
  2. Click on the “Data” tab in the Excel ribbon
  3. Select the “Sort” option from the “Sort & Filter” group
  4. Choose the column(s) you want to sort by, and select whether you want to sort in ascending or descending order
  5. Click “OK” to sort the data

What is the maximum number of rows I can sort in Excel?

The maximum number of rows you can sort in Excel depends on the version of Excel you are using. In Excel 2003 and earlier versions, you can sort up to 65,536 rows. In Excel 2007 and later versions, you can sort up to 1,048,576 rows. However, sorting a large dataset can be time-consuming and may cause Excel to crash. It is best to split the data into smaller sections and sort each section separately.

Can I sort by multiple columns in Excel?

Yes, you can sort by multiple columns in Excel. To do so, select the range of cells you want to sort, click on the “Sort” button in the “Data” tab, and then select the first column you want to sort by. Click “Add Level” to add a second level of sorting, and choose the second column you want to sort by. You can add up to three levels of sorting in Excel.

What is the difference between sorting and filtering in Excel?

Sorting and filtering are two different ways to manipulate data in Excel. Sorting allows you to arrange the data in a specific order based on one or more criteria. Filtering, on the other hand, allows you to display only the data that meets specific criteria. For example, you can use filtering to display only the rows that contain a certain word or value, while sorting allows you to order the rows based on a particular column’s values.

Can I undo a sort in Excel?

Yes, you can undo a sort in Excel by clicking on the “Undo” button in the Quick Access Toolbar (or by using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Z). This will restore the data to its original order before you sorted it. Note that this will only work if you haven’t made any changes to the sorted data.

Why is Excel running slow when sorting a large dataset?

Sorting a large dataset in Excel can be resource-intensive and may cause Excel to run slowly or even crash. One reason for this is that Excel needs to recalculate all the cell references to maintain the integrity of the formulas. Another reason is that Excel uses a lot of memory to sort large datasets, which can slow down your computer. To speed up the sorting process, you can try filtering the data and sorting smaller subsets at a time.

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