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How to Alphabetize in Excel

Why waste time cutting and copying cells? Microsoft Excel can automatically sort columns or rows alphabetically.


  • Step 1: Select a row or column Click a cell in the column or row you would like to sort.
  • TIP: Make sure all the data in the cells is text, and remove any spaces that might be inserted in front of the text.
  • Step 2: Open the Sort window Under the Data tab, in the Sort & Filter group, click Sort. This brings up the Sort window in Excel 2007.
  • TIP: Select Sort under the Data heading if you are using Excel 2003.
  • Step 3: Open the Options sub-window Click on Options in the Sort window. In the Options sub-window, select Sort top to bottom to sort columns, Sort left to right to sort rows, or select Case Sensitive to sort by case.
  • Step 4: Make selections in the Sort window Select the column or row header for the column or row you would like to alphabetize. For Excel 2007, select Values in the Sort On box, then select A to Z to sort in ascending order or Z to A to sort in descending order.
  • TIP: If you are using Excel 2003, select Ascending or Descending and Header row or No header row depending on your data range.
  • Step 5: Begin alphabetizing Click OK to close the Sort window and begin alphabetizing.
  • FACT: Did you know? The first electronic spreadsheet was developed in 1978 by a Harvard Business School student.

You Will Need

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Data to be alphabetized

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