Sorting data in a spreadsheet is very useful, and some sort of sorting method is usually preferred when you are submitting a report at your job or school. Arbitrarily analyzing data can be difficult, especially when important values are spread across a lot of cells without any real order.
You may be familiar with sorting in Microsoft Excel, but it is slightly different in Google Sheets. But both programs handle sorting in a similar manner, and you can likely achieve your desired sorting results in Sheets. Our tutorial below will show you how to select and sort a column in your Google Sheets spreadsheet.
How to Sort Data in Google Sheets
The steps in this article assume that you have a spreadsheet in Google Sheets, and that you would like to sort the data in that spreadsheet based on the values in a particular column. The data in the surrounding columns will rearrange automatically as the target column is sorted.
Step 1: Sign into your Google Drive at https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive and open the Sheets file containing the data that you want to sort.
Step 2: Click the column letter of the data that you want to sort. The entire column should then be selected.
Step 3: Click the Data tab at the top of the window, then select the preferred sorting option. I am selecting the Sort sheet by column, Z – A option. This will rearrange the values in the column so that the highest value is at the top.
If you do not want to rearrange the data in surrounding columns, then select the Sort range by column option instead. This will leave the data in the other columns in their original locations. Note that this may not be ideal if your spreadsheet is organized with related information on each row.
Does your spreadsheet contain unwanted formatting, caused by copying and pasting data from other sources? Find out how to clear formatting in Google Sheets so that all of your data has the same default styles and formatting.
Kermit Matthews is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with more than a decade of experience writing technology guides. He has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Computer Science and has spent much of his professional career in IT management.
He specializes in writing content about iPhones, Android devices, Microsoft Office and many other popular applications and devices.