Excel Tutorial: How To Link Rows In Excel So They Will Stay Together During Sort


When sorting data in Excel, it can be frustrating when rows become disorganized because they are not linked together. This can lead to errors and confusion, making it difficult to maintain the integrity of the data and ensure accuracy.

  • Explanation of the problem: When sorting data in Excel, rows often become disorganized because they are not linked together.
  • Importance of keeping rows together during sorting: Maintaining the integrity of data and ensuring accuracy.

Key Takeaways

  • Keeping rows together during sorting in Excel is crucial for maintaining data integrity and accuracy.
  • Understanding the "Sort" function and common issues with sorting can help prevent data disorganization.
  • Linking rows in Excel is an effective way to ensure that they stay together during sorting, preventing errors and confusion.
  • Removing blank rows and following best practices for linked rows can contribute to improved data organization and time-saving in Excel.
  • Implementing the tutorial's steps for maintaining linked rows can lead to more efficient and effective data sorting processes in Excel.

Using Excel's "Sort" Function

Excel's "Sort" function is a powerful tool that allows users to organize and rearrange data in a worksheet according to specified criteria. This function is particularly useful for managing large datasets and making it easier to analyze and interpret information.

Overview of the "Sort" function in Excel

  • Excel's "Sort" function allows users to reorder rows based on the values in one or more columns.
  • Users can choose to sort data in ascending or descending order, and can even customize the sort order based on specific criteria.
  • This function is beneficial for quickly reorganizing data and gaining insights from the sorted information.

Common issues with sorting

  • When data is sorted in Excel, it can become disorganized if rows are not linked together properly.
  • Without linked rows, sorting can lead to mismatched data and distort the overall dataset.
  • It can be challenging to maintain the integrity of the data when sorting is not executed carefully.

Understanding how to link rows in Excel is crucial for ensuring that data remains connected and organized during the sorting process. By mastering this technique, users can effectively manage their data and avoid common pitfalls associated with the "Sort" function in Excel.

Linking Rows in Excel

When working with data in Excel, it's important to be able to keep related rows together, especially when sorting the data. Linking rows allows you to ensure that certain rows will always stay connected, even when the data is rearranged.

Explanation of linking rows

Linking rows in Excel means connecting two or more rows so that they will stay together when the data is sorted. This is particularly useful when you have data that needs to maintain a specific relationship, such as a name and their associated contact information.

Step-by-step guide to linking rows

  • Select the rows to link: Start by selecting the rows that you want to link together. This can be done by clicking and dragging your mouse to highlight the rows.
  • Click on the "Data" tab: Once the rows are selected, navigate to the "Data" tab in the Excel ribbon at the top of the screen.
  • Click on "Group": In the "Data" tab, find and click on the "Group" button. This will open a dialog box where you can set the parameters for the grouping.
  • Set the grouping parameters: In the dialog box, you can choose how you want to group the selected rows. You can group them by rows or columns, and you can also set the outline levels for the grouping.
  • Click "OK": After setting the grouping parameters, click "OK" to apply the grouping to the selected rows.
  • Test the grouping: To ensure that the rows are linked together, try sorting your data. You should see that the linked rows stay together, maintaining their connection.

By following these steps, you can successfully link rows in Excel and ensure that they stay together during sorting, making it easier to maintain the integrity of your data.

Removing Blank Rows

Blank rows in your Excel spreadsheet can cause disruptions in the sorting process, leading to inconsistencies in the data. It is important to remove these blank rows to ensure that your data is properly sorted and organized.

The impact of blank rows on sorting

  • Disruption: Empty rows can disrupt the sorting process, causing data to be incorrectly aligned and organized.
  • Inconsistencies: Blank rows can result in inconsistencies in the data, making it difficult to analyze and present.

How to remove blank rows

  • Step 1: Select the entire spreadsheet by clicking on the cell at the top-left corner (A1) of your data.
  • Step 2: Press "Ctrl + Shift + Down Arrow" to select all the cells in the column.
  • Step 3: Go to the "Home" tab, click on "Find & Select" in the "Editing" group, and then select "Go To Special."
  • Step 4: In the "Go To Special" dialog box, choose "Blanks" and click "OK." This will select all the blank cells in your data.
  • Step 5: Right-click on any of the selected cells and choose "Delete" from the context menu.
  • Step 6: In the Delete dialog box, select "Entire row" and click "OK." This will remove all the selected blank rows from your spreadsheet.

Best Practices for Linked Rows

When working with linked rows in Excel, it's important to understand how to maintain their connection and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

A. Tips for maintaining linked rows:
  • Use the $ sign:

    When creating formulas to link rows, use the $ sign to lock the cell references. This will ensure that the linked rows stay together during sorting.
  • Use table formatting:

    Consider converting your data into an Excel table, which will automatically maintain the links between rows, even when sorting.
  • Avoid blank rows:

    If possible, avoid inserting blank rows within your linked data, as this can disrupt the link between rows during sorting.

B. How to troubleshoot issues with linked rows:
  • Check cell references:

    If your linked rows become unlinked after sorting, double-check the cell references in your formulas to ensure they are correctly locked with the $ sign.
  • Verify table formatting:

    If you are using table formatting, make sure that the entire range of linked rows is included in the table. This will help maintain the links during sorting.
  • Remove filters:

    If you have applied filters to your data, this can disrupt the links between rows during sorting. Remove any filters before sorting to avoid issues with linked rows.

Benefits of Linked Rows

When working with large sets of data in Excel, it is essential to maintain the integrity of the data and save time during sorting processes. Linked rows provide a solution to these challenges by keeping related data together and facilitating efficient sorting.

A. Improved data organization: How linked rows can help maintain the integrity of the data set.
  • Data cohesion: When rows are linked, related information stays together, preventing the risk of disorganization or data fragmentation during sorting.
  • Consistency: Linked rows ensure that all relevant data remains intact, providing a consistent and reliable data set for analysis and reporting.
  • Easy reference: With linked rows, it becomes easier to reference and analyze related data, enhancing the overall organization and usability of the data set.

B. Time-saving: The efficiency gained from having linked rows during sorting processes.
  • Streamlined sorting: Linked rows enable quick and accurate sorting, saving time and effort compared to manually reorganizing data after each sort.
  • Reduced errors: By keeping related data together, linked rows minimize the risk of errors during the sorting process, leading to greater efficiency and accuracy.
  • Enhanced productivity: With linked rows, users can focus on data analysis and decision-making rather than spending excess time on data organization and sorting tasks.


Recap of the importance of linked rows: It is crucial to have linked rows in Excel to prevent data disorganization and improve efficiency. By keeping related information together, you can easily maintain the integrity of your data and make sorting much more manageable.

Encouragement to apply the tutorial: I encourage you to implement the steps outlined in this tutorial to maintain linked rows in Excel. By doing so, you'll be able to keep your data organized and easily sortable, saving you time and effort in the long run.

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