Monday, August 17, 2009

Sorting Order – Have it Your Way

Although the innate sorting options in Excel are usually sufficient, there are times when you need a Special Sorting Order to fit your data. Never fear, you can easily create your own customized sorting orders.

For instance, if you have a field containing your corporate locations (let’s say Chicago is the home office, and the other locations are ranked according to production). You may want Excel to sort the locations as follows: Chicago, Minneapolis, Albuquerque, and Los Angeles. The problem is, of course, that Excel would typically sort this list alphabetically, starting with Albuquerque. The solution, however, is so easy you will laugh (it is good to laugh).

Follow These Steps to Create a Custom Sorting Order for Your List:

  1. Go to Options in the Tools menu
  2. Select the Custom Lists tab
  3. Ascertain the NEW LIST is selected in the Custom Lists list
  4. In the List entries dialog box, type or paste your custom list in the order you wish to have them appear.

Bamm! That’s it! When you want to have Excel sort according to this new list in the future, just go to Sort, click the Options button, and choose your new customized list.

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