In this article we show you how to sort numbers in google sheets using the built in sort feature and by using the SORT function. The ability to order data is extremely useful in how data is understood, especially in larger sets of data.
Sort Numbers in Google Sheets using the Built-in Feature
The built-in feature in Google Sheets is very useful for quick sorting on smaller sets of data. Number data can be sorted in a couple of ways, either in an ascending order (A-Z: lower to higher) or a descending(Z-A: higher to lower)
Example 1 - Sort Numbers by Range
For this example we have created an example dataset of staff members and their staff numbers. To demonstrate how to sort number data in an ascending order (A-Z). Will now order the data by staff number. Click here to view the dataset and follow along.
Step 1: Highlight the data range you would like to sort
Drag to highlight the range of information in your dataset, in this example we need to ensure both names and numbers are highlighted otherwise the data will not remain together when sorted.
Step 2: Select Data > Sort range > Advanced range sorting options
In the Sort range options in the data tab we can access the advanced sorting options for range.
Note: We can also access the advance range sorting options by right clicking our highlighted data and selecting View more cell actions > Sort range
Step 3: Select range sorting parameters
A pop up window will appear with several options:
Data has header row: If your highlighted data includes a header remember to check this box
Sort by: This option will display the columns in your highlighted data, If you have checked the data header box the column information will change to your header information. Column C contains our number information but we have a header and checked the box, this now shows as “Staff Number”
A-Z or Z-A: The two radio buttons represent the order direction, as we want our data to be in ascending order we will select A-Z
Add another sort column: This option can be used to add additional columns to includet
Step 4: Click Sort
Click on Sort and the information will be ordered as per your chosen parameters, in our example, the staff number data now appears in ascending order with the correct staff name next to it
Example 2 - Sort Numbers using a Filter
In this example we will use our example dataset of staff members and their staff numbers. To demonstrate how to sort number data in an descending order (Z-A). Will now order the numerical data by using a filter.
Step 1: Highlight the data in your set to be included in the range
Drag to highlight the range of information in your dataset
Step 2: Select Data > Create a filter
Once this is selected we will see the filter symbol appear at the top of our data:
Step 3: Select the filter symbol next to your chosen column
For our example we need to select the filter symbol to the right of our Staff Number column, this will present the filter options:
Step 4: Select Sort Z-A to view results
In the options displayed we need to select Sort Z-A, once completed our data is arrange in a descending order with the largest number at the top and lowest at the bottom
Sort Numbers in Google Sheets using the SORT Function
The SORT function in Google Sheets allows a high level of precision within our data. You can read our full SORT tutorial below:
SORT Function Syntax
The syntax for the SORT function is written as:
=SORT: We must first write this to declare the sort intention in Google Sheets
RANGE: The range of information that is to be included in the function
Column: This is the column number identifier for the data we wish to be ordered. Column IDs are arranged from left to right and start at 1
Is_ascending: This is either a TRUE or FALSE value and declares the order direction:
Ascending order (A-Z)
Descending order (Z-A)
This example would specify that the range of data is to include all cells from A1 to B20, column 2 (which would be Column B in this example) would be the column sorted and true declares the data will be ascending.
Example - Using the SORT function
We will use the example dataset of Staff Name and Staff number, we will now use the SORT function in a formula to arrange the numerical data in an ascending order.
Step 1: Select an empty cell next to the data set
Ensure there is adequate room for the new list to populate
Step 2: Input the SORT formula
The formula for this example would be
This declares that the range of data is to include all cells from B3 to C22, column 2 (which would be Column C in this example) is the column to sort by and true declares the data will be ascending.
Step 3: Press enter to see the displayed results
A new list is now populated with the numerical data arranged in an ascending (A-Z) order.
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