How to sort alphabetically in Excel and keep rows together

I understand using excel can be a daunting task, especially to newbies. The good thing is that there are many online resources to help you maneuver every corner of MS Excel. Today, we are going to discuss on how to sort alphabetically without interfering with the rows.

This can be very challenging especially if you have multiple columns in a single worksheet. So, in that case, how do you sort a column and ensure the rows are intact?

There are many ways to go about this but the best and the simplest of all is the use of sort function in Excel. But now how do you find the sort function to sort the columns and maintain the rows?


General sorting

If you have the latest Excel version, I am sure you already found the general sorting feature that helps you to sort data on colors, cell icons, and cell contents. In this case, you are supposed to click on any cell that you want to sort and what follows is to click on the Data tab. However, make sure you have not highlighted the data because it will sort that column only and the rest of the data will be left unattended. After this, you are supposed to click on the sort ascending or descending button and everything will be done according to your wish.

That sounds easy and simple but the fact remains that performing multi-level sorting is a little bit challenging. This is the reason why the majority of people choose advanced methods of doing that. Below, we have discussed other methods that can help you sort data, so read on.

Using the sort Function


The first step is to select column data that you want to sort.


Click on Data and eventually sort. This will make sure that the rows are intact but the columns have changed. After this, the sort warning dialog will pop up. You are supposed to keep the Expand the selection option and after that click on sort. The screenshot below shows that clearly.


Now you have to specify the criterion that you will sort on. The same warning will prompt you to enter the sorting order. That is clearly shown by the screenshot below.

If that works, what will follow is to click ok to save your changes. After that, you will find out that the column has been sorted and the rows are still intact.

Another situation is when you want to sort the data depending on the absolute values. In this case, you cannot expect that the Excel Sort Button can help you directly. It is clear that you will have to go to another alternative method to get the same desirable results. This is only possible by the use of the Advanced Sort function in Excel.


Using the Advanced sort Function in Excel

It's now very easy to sort the data by absolute values including the month, day, frequency, first or last name, and a lot more. However, this process will involve the installation of Excel's advanced sort function. To use this function, follow the below steps;

Step#1. This step is for downloading the advanced sort function for Excel. This will make sure you have all the tools to perform as needed along the way.

Select all the data range and eventually click Enterprise and lastly Advanced sort.

Step#3. Now it's time to select the column you want to sort. After that, you will be prompted to select the Criterion that you want to sort on. The last thing to do is to select the sort order.

Step#4. This is the last step where you will only have to select Ok and the data will be perfectly sorted. You will also realize that the rows will be kept intact even after sorting.

There are many other 3rd party ways of doing this but the above are the main ways that Excel helps you to sort. So hands up whoever thought they knew how to sort data without interfering with the rows and ended up messing the whole data. Mine is up because I have experienced this many times.