How To Alphabetize Data by Sorting in Google Sheets

Making sense of data is what spreadsheets are all about. The more content you add, the more organized you need to become. Fortunately, Sheets offers multiple ways to organize your data including sorting and filtering. Today we are going to use the sorting function to alphabetize data in Google Sheets.

How To Alphabetize Data by Sorting in Google Sheets

There are a couple of sorting options within Sheets. You can sort by sheet, by range or named range. Each has different applications depending on the type of data you are working with.

Alphabetize Data in Google Sheets

It stands to reason that for alphabetizing to work, your spreadsheet needs to have words as well as numbers. You can sort numbers, but we will cover that in a minute. If you have column headers, you will need to freeze those first so they aren’t included in the alphabetizing process.

  1. Highlight the row you want to freeze.
  2. Select View from the top menu.
  3. Then, hover over Freeze and select 1 row from the list, or more if you need them.

Now you can move on to alphabetize the data.

So alphabetize a column:

  1. Open the Sheet you want to sort.
  2. Highlight the entire column you want to alphabetize.
  3. Select Data from the top menu.
  4. Then, click on Sort range by column A – Z.

You can of course select reverse alphabetization by selecting Sort range by column Z –A.

To alphabetize a sheet:

  1. Open the Sheet you want to sort.
  2. Highlight the entire sheet by clicking in the corner button above A1.
  3. Select Data from the top menu.
  4. Then, click on Sort range.
  5. Select the first column you want to sort by in the popup window.
  6. Add another column if you want to continue sorting columns.
  7. Select Sort when you have enough columns.

This will sort each column you have selected. You can also just select the populated cells by dragging the mouse to include all cells you want to sort. This is more useful if you have elements of the spreadsheet you don’t want to include.

Sort by Numerical Value

Even though numbers obviously cannot be alphabetized, the same tool instead orders numbers in ascending or descending order. The process is exactly the same as alphabetizing, where A is the lowest number and Z is the highest.

  1. Open the Sheet you want to sort.
  2. Highlight the column you want to sort.
  3. Once again, select Data from the top menu.
  4. As before, select Sort range by column A – Z or Sort range by column Z – A.

Like alphabetizing, you can also order by multiple columns in exactly the same way as described above. Select more than one column from the popup menu and Sheets will order them for you.

Ordering data is a fundamental of any spreadsheet and Google Sheets does a good job of making it easy to do. It isn’t without its bugs though and you may find that when sorting mixed columns or columns with numerical values as well as alphabetical ones things don’t go quite to plan. Repeating the process a couple times usually overcomes it though.

Got any Google Sheets tips you want to add? Want us to cover anything else? Tell us below if you do!

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