How to sort left to right in Excel (quick tip)

Learn Excel - 2 comments

Imagine you are in a life sustaining planet named Pearth, in another galaxy. One day you got to work, fired up Excel (hey, what else would you use? Excel is the best data software in any galaxy 🙂 ) and started working.

You came across a dataset that need sorting, but left to right – horizontally.

Sort left to right in Excel - horizontal sorting of data in spreadsheets

Now what? Do you turn your monitor sideways?

Nope, just use left to right sort option from Custom sort. That is right my dear alien friend. You can sort data in horizontal direction too.

See this quick demo.

Sort left to right in Excel – instructions

Left to right sorting is easier than it looks. Just follow these instructions.

  1. Select your data. But exclude headers (ie first column)
  2. Now go to Home > Sort & Filter > Custom sort
  3. Click on “options”
  4. Now select “Sort left to right”, click OK.
  5. Now you can set sorting by row, rather than column.
  6. Specify row number you want to sort on and sort order.
  7. Click ok and your data is sorted.

Want to fix your data instead? Just transpose it

If you want to just change the shape of your data, you can quickly transpose it using one of the below techniques.

  1. Copy and Paste transpose: You can quickly transpose data using copy paste. Copy your data (Ctrl+C), Paste Special (CLTR+ALT+V), Transpose. See this 15 second tutorial if you have doubts.
  2. Transpose data with formulas: If you don’t want to copy, then you can use formulas to transpose. See this tip to transpose data with formulas.
  3. Transpose with Power Query: If you are getting data from a source (text file, webpage, SQL query etc.) then you can use Power Query to add tranpose as part of load process. Here is a quick introduction to Power Query.

Now that you are on an interplanetary journey, why not pick up few more quick tips for data analysis.


Hello Awesome...

My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.

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2 Responses to “How to sort left to right in Excel (quick tip)”

  1. Marcin says:

    That`s a great tip!

    So many things i discover about Excel every day. And there is still tons to find out 🙂

    My favourite Excel knowledge base.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Nimesh says:

    That's quite interesting.
    I can see that in 2007 as well, how old is this feature?

    Excel is Pandora's box.

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