Google Sheets is a great tool for tracking, analyzing, and organizing your company or enterprise’s data.

While the app is user-friendly, it can be a little tricky if you’re new to organizing data in digital spreadsheets. But don’t worry! Read on to easily understand sorting in Google Sheets.

First, know that there are many ways to sort data in Google Sheets. Some of the most common features marketers like you use when using Google Sheets are:

  • Pivot tables – for collecting data from large databases
  • What-If Analysis – Allows you to try different scenarios of values ​​and formulas to understand possible outcomes
  • Charts – an easy way to visualize data in graphs, charts or tables

While these functions can also be found in Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets may be a better option for you. Unlike Excel, Google Sheets does not require a paid subscription.

This tool is free for anyone with a Google Account or Google Workspace account. Many users also find that tables are a better tool for collaborative projects than Excel.

So how do we start sorting in Google Sheets? Let’s dive into the water.

Sort by sheet and.Sort by range in Google Sheets

The latter is especially useful if your spreadsheet contains multiple sheets and you want to organize one without breaking the others.

For example, the spreadsheet below is sorted by worksheet. Book titles (column A) are sorted alphabetically.

In the second example, the titles are in reverse alphabetical order. In both cases, the author, publication date, and genre of each book are aligned with the corresponding title.

Alphabetical headings in Google SheetsData in reverse alphabetical order in Google SheetsThe example below has two separate charts on one sheet. Note that the chart with title, author, release date, etc. is in alphabetical order, while the book log below is not.

That’s because the chart for book titles is sorted by range, so it doesn’t corrupt the book log below it.

Two graphs displayed on one Google Sheet, one alphabetically and the other not

How to sort columns and rows in Google Sheets

Knowing how to sort rows and columns in Google Sheets is key to organizing your data. Here is a step by step guide:

alphabetically or numerically

Step 1: Open the spreadsheet in Google Sheets and highlight the group of cells you want to sort. In this example, we will use the book title chart.

Select a range of cells to sort in Google SheetsIf your sheet has a header row (like the green header row in the example), you will need to freeze that row so that it stays in place when sorting.

To do this, select the header row, click the View tab, click Freeze, and then click 1 Row. If you don’t have a header row, you can continue to the next step.

Header row freezes in Google SheetsStep 2: Click the Data tab, then click Sort Range, then click Advanced Range Sort Options.

The Data and Sort Ranges tab opens to display advanced range sorting options in Google SheetsStep 3: If your column has headers, click “Data has header row”.

Data has header row option selected in Google SheetsStep 4: First select the column you want to sort, then select the sort order. AZ and ZA will arrange your data in alphabetical and reverse alphabetical order, respectively.

If you use numbers, AZ will organize the data in ascending order and ZA will organize the data in descending order.

Select the AZ option to sort the data in ascending order in Google Sheets

Step 5: To add another collation, click Add Another Sort Column. Then click the green “Sort” button.

Add another sort column and sort button in Google SheetsStep 6: To sort the entire worksheet, right-click the letter of the column you want to sort, and then click Sort AZ or ZA.

Sort worksheets A to Z tab circled

How to filter your data

Filtering data is especially useful if you want to drill down to specific information in a large dataset. It’s also great if you just want to show certain information when people open your spreadsheet for the first time.

Step 1: Select the range of cells to filter.

Select a range of cells for sorting in Google SheetsStep 2: Click the Data tab, then click Create Filter.

Create filter labels for selection in Google SheetsAfter clicking Create Filter, your graph should look like the example below. Note the filter icon next to each column header name and the new border around the chart.

Filters created for columns in Google Sheets chartsStep 3: Suppose we only want to see the titles of historical novels. To do this, we click the filter icon next to “Type” and then click “Filter by Value”.

Open the filter icon in the Genre column and select the Filter by value tab in Google SheetsStep 4: We will then uncheck everything except “Historical Fiction” and click OK.

Historical fiction data value selected, other values ​​deselected in Google SheetsThis can also be done by clicking “Clear” and entering “Historical Fiction”. The latter method is fine if the value you want to sort is not listed and you want to add your own.

Historical fiction data value selected, other values ​​deselected in Google SheetsWhichever method you choose, the end result should look like this:

Google Sheets chart filtered to show only historical fiction titles

How to sort data by color

Assuming the titles are all color-coded by genre, historical fiction is orange, science fiction is blue, and coming-of-age fiction is purple.

To sort these color-coded titles so that adult books are at the top:

Color-coded data to sort in Google SheetsStep 1: Select a range of cells.

Select a range of cells for sorting in Google SheetsStep 2: Click the Data tab, then click Create Filter.

Open the Data tab and select the Create Filters tabFilters created in Google SheetsStep 3: Click the filter symbol in the genre bar, then sort by color, fill color, then purple.

To filter in the selected genre column, open the Sort by Color tab, then the Fill Color tab, then the Purple ValueAfter doing this, all adult titles will appear at the top of the graph.

Purple-coded data tops in Google SheetsIf you want to turn off the filter, just click on “Data” and then “Remove Filter”.

Select the Data tab, then select the Delete filter option to delete the filter in Google Sheets

Remember that anyone with access to the spreadsheet can see your filters. If someone has permission to edit your spreadsheet, that person can also change the filters.

This is how you can sort and filter data in Google Sheets. Now you will be able to organize your data digitally in one application.

Remember, Google Sheets is free for anyone with a Google Account or Google Workspace account. It’s also ideal for collaborative projects thanks to Google’s sharing and editing capabilities. Happy sorting!

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