If your spreadsheet data is messy and unordered, you can sort them alphabetically or in any order you want to make it easier to read. Here’s how to sort in Google Sheets quickly.
Google Sheets allows you to sort your data from the quickest method to the advanced one. This makes it easy to read and edit your data from the largest/smallest number, sort by date ascendingly or descendingly, or by alphabetical order.
You can also sort columns the same way as sorting rows, using the transposing method which will also be explained in this post.
How to sort in Google Sheets using a filter
A filter in Google Sheets works like a table in Excel, but with some limitations. You can sort data in Google Sheets by creating a filter first, then there would be a button on each row header that allows you to sort the rest of the rows below it.
To make a filter, simply select the entire dataset by clicking one cell of it then pressing CTRL+A. It will automatically select the entire dataset instead of the entire sheet.
Select Data and choose the Create a filter menu to make the filter for the dataset.
Here, the upside-down triangle button is showing on each row header.
To sort, simply click the button and choose either to sort alphabetically/ascendingly or descendingly. The Sort A > Z and Sort Z > A also works for number and date.
That’s it. The dataset is now sorted alphabetically or ascendingly from A to Z by the first column’s rows, and the rest of the columns will automatically follow.
To sort descendingly, simply choose Sort Z > A.
Here, the dataset is now sorted descendingly by the first column’s rows.
How to sort without a filter and sort multiple columns in Google Sheets
Sorting data without a filter is clearly more convenient than with one. You can instantly sort the data with this method as well as sorting multiple columns.
For example, the previous method sorts the dataset by the first column’s rows (Query) and then the rest of the columns follow. But this one, you can sort by the first column and then the second one simultaneously, the rest of the columns would follow.
To do this, simply select your entire dataset and right-click it. Choose Sort range.
Select Data has header row if you have a header row. Choose the order of the sorting. Choose which column you want to sort by first.
Click Add another sort column and select the second column to sort by and choose its order as well. Click Sort to finally sort the data.
The dataset is now sorted without its row header.
How to sort using a formula in Google Sheets
Google Sheets also allows you to sort the data with a function called SORT. It’s more convenient for data that is always changed when you want to edit from the original data.
But, this method has its own disadvantages, like the inability to remove a part of the sorted data, and require to find an empty range of cells that will be filled with the sorted data. If the range already has content, it will show an error message.
To do this, simply type the formula:
=SORT(the range of cells to sort, the column to sort by, and the order (TRUE means ascending)
This formula will include the row header, so make sure you don’t select the row header when selecting the range of cells to sort.
How to sort the columns in Google Sheets
Previous methods talk about sorting the rows. But those methods can also be used to sort the columns, but with an additional method: transposing the data in the first place, do the sort using one of the previous methods, and then transpose it again.
This method may require more effort. But worth trying if you have a lot of columns to sort.
To do this, simply copy the dataset, find an empty area of your sheet, and right-click. Select Paste transposed in Paste special menu.
Here, simply do the sorting as usual, like right-clicking and selecting Sort range.
Here, select the column where the row header (which is now the first column of the data) exists.
Once you are done with sorting, simply copy the result, and paste transposed again in another sheet or any area of your sheet.