Sorting With And Without Buttons In Excel

Here are two different ways to sort a table of data in Excel using the Sort option of just the A to Z buttons.

You can download the workbook here to follow along.

I have a table in Excel of various auto sales. These are currently sorted by date, oldest to newest. I want to sort them with three criteria:

Primary – Salesman
Secondary – Model
Tertiary – Sales (largest to smallest)

One option is to click on the table then select the Sort button from the Data tab of the ribbon:


and enter in the 3 criteria in the order noted above. Click on “Add level” to add the second and third criteria:


The result is the table is now sorted by Salesman, and within each salesman, by Model, and then within each model, by Sales – largest to smallest:


An alternative to this, and one that is potentially quicker, is to use the A to Z buttons. The key here is that you need to select them in the reverse order. Here’s how this works:

In order to get the same results as we did by using the sort feature above, click anywhere in the Sales column first, and click on the Z to A button. This will sort all the sales from largest to smallest:


Next, click anywhere in the Model column and then click on the A to Z button. Now the models are sorted, and within the models, each is sorted by Sales, largest to smallest:


Finally, click anywhere in the Salesman column and click the A to Z button. Now the table is sorted exactly the same way as it was when we used the sort feature above:


And there you have it. Two ways to sort by multiple criteria. One using the sort feature, the other using the A to Z buttons. Try both ways and see which is best and easiest for you.

Happy Excelling!

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