Excel Tutorial: How To Put Excel In Alphabetical Order


Organizing data in alphabetical order is crucial for easy access and analysis, especially when dealing with large amounts of information in Excel. Whether it's names, titles, or any other type of text data, sorting it alphabetically can make your work more efficient and systematic. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the simple steps to put Excel in alphabetical order, enabling you to easily manage and navigate your data.

Key Takeaways

  • Organizing data alphabetically in Excel is crucial for easy access and analysis, especially with large amounts of information.
  • Following simple steps can make your work more efficient and systematic.
  • Choosing the sorting order and dealing with headers are important considerations during the sorting process.
  • Using the "Undo" function can help revert to the original order if the sorting is incorrect.
  • Practicing the tutorial can lead to better data management in Excel.

Step 1: Sorting Data

When working with Excel, it's important to be able to organize your data in a way that makes it easy to understand and analyze. One common way to do this is by putting your data in alphabetical order. Here's how you can do that in Excel:

A. Selecting the data range to be sorted
  • First, open your Excel spreadsheet and navigate to the sheet containing the data you want to sort.
  • Click and drag to select the range of cells that you want to sort. Make sure to include all the relevant columns and rows.

B. Accessing the "Sort" function in Excel
  • With the data range still selected, navigate to the "Data" tab in the Excel ribbon at the top of the screen.
  • Look for the "Sort" button or option in the "Sort & Filter" group. Click on it to open the sort dialog box.

Step 2: Choosing the Sorting Order

Once you have selected the data to sort, the next step is to choose the sorting order. This will determine how the data will be organized in your Excel spreadsheet.

A. Selecting the column to sort by
  • Select the column header

    To begin, click on the header of the column that you want to sort. This will ensure that Excel recognizes the entire column as the target for sorting.

  • Highlight multiple columns (optional)

    If you want to sort the data based on multiple columns, you can highlight the headers of those columns before proceeding to the next step. This is useful for organizing data with multiple levels of categorization.

B. Choosing the ascending or descending order
  • Ascending order

    Sorting in ascending order means that the data will be arranged from A to Z for text, and from smallest to largest for numbers. To apply ascending order, click on the "Sort A to Z" option in the sorting function.

  • Descending order

    Descending order, on the other hand, arranges the data from Z to A for text, and from largest to smallest for numbers. To apply descending order, click on the "Sort Z to A" option in the sorting function.

Step 3: Applying the Sort

After selecting the appropriate options for the sorting, it is time to apply the changes to the data.

A. Clicking the "OK" button to apply the sorting

Once you have selected the sorting options, click on the "OK" button at the bottom of the Sort dialog box. This will apply the sorting to the selected data.

B. Checking the data to ensure it is in alphabetical order

After applying the sort, double-check the data to ensure that it is now in alphabetical order. Scroll through the entire dataset to make sure that all the entries are arranged as expected.

Step 4: Dealing with Headers

When sorting your data in Excel, it's important to consider how to handle headers, which are the labels for each column. Here's how to ensure that your headers remain intact during the sorting process.

A. Considering whether to include headers in the sorting process

Before you begin sorting your data, you'll need to decide whether to include the headers in the sorting process. Including headers can help you keep track of which column is being sorted and make it easier to understand the data. However, if you do include headers, you'll need to take additional steps to ensure they remain in the correct position.

B. Making adjustments to ensure headers remain intact

If you choose to include headers in the sorting process, you'll need to make adjustments to ensure they remain intact. One way to do this is to use the "Sort" dialog box in Excel. When using the dialog box, you can specify whether your data has headers, and Excel will automatically adjust the sorting process to keep the headers in place.

Another way to ensure headers remain intact is to freeze the top row of your spreadsheet. By doing this, the headers will always remain visible, even as you scroll through your data or make changes. To freeze the top row, simply select the row below the headers, go to the "View" tab, and click "Freeze Panes."

Step 5: Undoing the Sort

After sorting your data, you may realize that the sorting was incorrect or you want to revert to the original order. Fortunately, Excel provides options to undo the sort and explore other alternatives.

A. Using the "Undo" function in Excel if the sorting is incorrect

If you mistakenly sorted the data incorrectly, you can simply use the "Undo" function in Excel to revert the changes. This will undo the last action, which in this case, is the sorting of the data. You can do this by clicking on the "Undo" button in the Quick Access Toolbar or by pressing Ctrl + Z on your keyboard. This will bring back the original order of the data.

B. Exploring other options to revert to the original order

If you have made changes to the data after sorting and using the "Undo" function is not ideal, you can explore other options to revert to the original order. One way to do this is to use the "Sort" dialog box and select the original order of the data. You can also use the "Sort" dialog box to clear the sorting and start over. Another option is to manually rearrange the data to its original order if the changes are minimal.


In conclusion, putting Excel in alphabetical order is a crucial step for better data management. Whether you are organizing names, titles, or any other information, sorting data alphabetically helps in easily locating and analyzing the data. I encourage you to practice the tutorial and incorporate this method into your regular Excel usage for more efficient and organized data management.

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