Sort Left To Right In Excel



If you’ve covered even the basics of Excel, there is a good chance that at some point you have sorted at least 1 column of data in ascending or descending order.

Sorting up and down is well covered in classes, books, tutorials and with a big button in Excel ribbons that says “Sort”, but if you need to sort from left to right in Excel, do you know how to?

Before this week i never even thought of a need to sort left to right in Excel, it never came up.  But then this past week, it came up twice!

In one case, a person was copying rows from a variety of sources and then wanted to sort the columns in order.

In another case, random numbers were being generated across 5 columns and the user needed them put in descending order.


How To Sort Left To Right In Excel

To demonstrate this, I have created a table.

Column A contains a list of names and the remaining columns list fruits.

Random table being used to demonstrate how to sort left to right in excel

 In this example, we will put columns B to N in alphabetical order from left to right.


1. Select Data

  • Highlight the data to be sorted

Select the data to be sorted


2. Sort

  • Go to the “Data” ribbon
  • Click on “Sort”

003 Sort Button


3. Sort Options

  • Click on “Options”

Image of the sort dialog box

  • In the “Sort Options”, set the orientation to “Sort left to right”
  • Click “OK”

Image showing the sort options

  • Back in the Sort box that you would usually see, select the row that you want to sort by.
  • We want to sort by Row 1 of our selection, which contains the column headings.
  • Click OK

Final image showing sort options

 4. Sort Left To Right In Excel Done

Our table is now sorted from left to right….

image showing table now sorted left to right

It might not be a task that you will use frequently, but when you need to sort left to right in Excel, at least you know it is only an extra step or two more than a standard sort.

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