How to Alphabetize in Excel

When your goal is to arrange all of the information contained in your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet alphabetically, there’s no need to manually alter each individual cell. Thankfully, the program offers several options for different forms of data sorting that will allow you to produce a more organized document in a matter of seconds.

To that end, here are a couple of different methods for alphabetizing your columns in Microsoft Excel, regardless of your end goal and the current amount of information:

Alphabetizing with the Sort feature

The process for alphabetizing the data you have in Microsoft Excel will naturally be dependent on the amount of different rows or columns in the document, with the entire process becoming more difficult the more different variables there are. Regardless, here are some ways you could alphabetize your document, depending on the amount of your data:

Single columns

In case you just have one single column of information in the document, this instance is undeniably the simplest to alphabetize. Here’s how:

  1. Highlight the one column which you wish to sort in an alphabetical manner.
  2. Press on Home, and then press Sort & Filter.

  3. Here, you’ll notice the possibility to organize your single column in an alphabetical order, whether that means from A to Z or from Z to A.

Several columns

In case you have two or more columns of information in the document, which you wish to organize in an alphabetical manner, you could repeat the same method as explained above. However, instead of only choosing one column, highlight all of the columns you wish to organize alphabetically.

It’s recommended to highlight all of the necessary columns at once, instead of going one by one, to prevent your data from being accidentally jumbled and combined.

Special sorting options

Excel also offers a Custom Sort feature that is most commonly used for larger tables that contain bigger amounts of data. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Highlight the whole table in your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Go to Home > Sort & Filter > Custom Sort.

  3. A new window will then appear. Here, you’ll notice the possibility to choose how every individual column is sorted, as well as the referential column used for sorting, and the specific type of sorting (alphabetical). You will also have several options for organizing the information in your table, such as by font or cell color.

Note: Remember, this will organize your spreadsheet according to that first, referential column. If you wish, you could also add a second sorting option, just by clicking on Add Level.

Alphabetizing with the Filter feature

Excel also offers a Filter feature which allows for alphabetical sorting. Here’s how you can use it:

  1. Highlight all of the data which you wish to organize in an alphabetical manner.
  2. Press Data, and then choose Filter. This action will then put an arrow in the corner of every previously selected column.
  3. Press the arrow that appears, and then select the manner in which you wish to organize the column (A to Z or Z to A).

  4. Repeat the same process for each individual column which you wish to organize in an alphabetical order.

While there are several different ways of sorting your information in an alphabetical manner in Microsoft Excel, depending on the type of the spreadsheet you made and the amount of data itself, they can all be done in just a few quick and simple steps.