- How to Alphabetize in Google Sheets?
- Column Options
- Data Menu Options
- How to Sort Alphabetically in Google Sheets with the SORT Function?
- Can You Auto-Alphabetize in Google Sheets?
When you spend a lot of time working with spreadsheets, you probably have a favorite way of organizing and presenting your data. Fortunately, sorting data in Google Sheets is easy; depending on the data type, you can order it in different ways. If you have cells with text in Google Sheets that you need to alphabetize, you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, you will learn about the different methods available to sort your data alphabetically in Google Sheets. First, you will learn how to alphabetize using the built-in column options and then using the menu options: sort sheet, sort range, and advanced range sorting options.
You will also learn various ways to sort alphabetically without including the first row. Finally, you will learn how to sort your data alphabetically by one or more columns using the SORT function.
To learn more about sorting data in Google Sheets, check out our guide on How to Sort in Google Sheets (+ Examples).
How to Alphabetize in Google Sheets?
To alphabetize your sheets, open the spreadsheet in Google Sheets. Select the column you want to sort by and right-click on the column letter (e.g., “A”). From the menu, choose whether to sort in ascending (A>Z) or descending order (Z>A).
Follow the steps below to sort your data using the column menu options.
- 1. Open Google Sheets to the file with your data and select the column by which you want to order.
- 2. Right-click on the column letter to get the menu and choose ascending or descending alphabetical order.
- 3. Alternatively, you can click on the arrow next to the column letter to get the same sort options.
- 4. That’s it. Both columns have been sorted by the first column in ascending alphabetical order.
Data Menu Options
You can also sort your data alphabetically from the ‘Data’ menu. Depending on your selection, you will see the option to sort the sheet or sort a range. Read below to learn the difference between these options.
Sort Sheet by Column
If you have multiple related columns, this is probably the option you want. It will sort related columns by whatever column you select. In other words, row data is kept together.
- 1. Select the column by which you want to sort.
- 2. Go to Data > Sort sheet. Select the sort order you want to apply.
- 3. That’s it. As you can see below, both columns have been sorted according to the first.
Sort Range by Column
You can use this option to order only the selected range of cells by the column on the left of your selection. As you will see in the next section, this is useful if you want to avoid sorting the first row. However, you need to be careful with this option. If you only select one column, only that one will be sorted. In other words, your row data will stop making sense.
- 1. Select the range of cells you want to sort.
- 2. Go to Data > Sort range. Select the sort order you want to apply.
- 3. That’s it. As you can see below, the selected range has been sorted according to the contents of the first column.
Sort Alphabetically by Multiple Columns
To sort data alphabetically by more than one column, go to Data > Sort range > Advanced range sorting options.
- 1. Select the range of cells you want to sort, including all relevant rows and columns.
- 2. Go to Data > Sort range > Advanced range sorting options.
- 3. From the drop-down menu, select the main column by which you want to sort, as well as the sort order. If your table has headers, check the “Data has header row” checkbox.
- 4. Click “Add another sort column” to add the secondary sort column.
- 5. Select the second column to sort by and the sort order. Once you’ve added all the sort columns you need, click “Sort”.
- 6. The table has been sorted alphabetically by more than one column.
How do I Sort Alphabetically in Google Sheets without the First Row?
When you sort the sheet alphabetically, it affects every row. If the first row contains headers, you won’t want it to be sorted. Fortunately, there are several ways to avoid this. You can freeze the top row before sorting the sheet or select the cells with data and use ‘Sort range’. Finally, you can use ‘Advanced range sorting options’ and check “Data has header row”.
Freeze Top Row
Follow the instructions below to freeze the header row before sorting the sheet.
- 1. Select the row with the headers.
- 2. Go to View > Freeze > 1 row.
- 3. Now that the first row is frozen, you can select the column by which you want to sort.
- 4. Go to Data > Sort sheet and select the sort order you want.
- 5. That’s it. The sheet is sorted alphabetically, but the header is unaffected.
Advanced Range Sorting Options
Instead of freezing the top row, you can use the advanced range sorting options to exclude the header.
- 1. Select the entire range of cells you want sorted according to one or more columns.
- 2. Go to Data > Sort range > Advanced Range Sorting Options.
- 3. Check the “Data has header row” checkbox. After that, you can choose one or more columns to sort by, in whatever order you choose for each.
When sharing a Google Sheets spreadsheet Google usually tries to share the entire document. Here’s how to share only one tab instead.READ MORE
How to Sort Alphabetically in Google Sheets with the SORT Function?
The methods shown above all change the original data as the sorting is done in place. This means other users, as well as formulas or files that depend on that data, might be affected by your sorting. To avoid this, you can use the built-in SORT function.
SORT Alphabetically by One Column
Follow the steps below to use the SORT function to sort data by one column.
- 1. Open the spreadsheet containing your data.
- 2. Type the SORT function in the cell where you want the sorted data.
- 3. Select the range of cells you want to sort and add a comma.
- 4. Select the column by which you want to sort and add a comma.
- 5. For the third parameter, use “TRUE” for ascending alphabetical order and close the parenthesis.
- 6. Press ‘Enter’ to get the sorted data.
Top Free Google Sheets Templates and Financial Statements to help you manage your business financials, monitor performance, and make informed decisions.READ MORE
SORT Alphabetically by Multiple Columns
For this example, we will continue from step 5 above. In other words, the data will be sorted by additional columns.
- 1. After the third parameter, you can add as many columns as you want by specifying the two parameters necessary for each. I’ll add the “first_name” column as the secondary sort column.
- 2. After the comma, add the order you want to use for the secondary sort.
- 3. Once you’ve added all the columns you want, close the parenthesis and press ‘Enter’. The data is now sorted by last name, then first name.
Can You Auto-Alphabetize in Google Sheets?
Depending on the sorting method you choose, your data can be auto-alphabetized. The easiest way to do this is to use the SORT function. When new data is added within the selected range, the SORT function will automatically alphabetize the data it returns. See the previous section for instructions.
As you have seen, alphabetizing your data in Google Sheets is easy. In fact, there are many ways to do it, depending on your preferences. You know how to sort data in place, changing the original order, as well as how to sort without affecting other users or changing the original order. You know how to alphabetize using the built-in column options and using the menu options: sort sheet, sort range, and advanced range sorting options. You also know a few ways to sort your data alphabetically without including the first row. Finally, you know how to use the SORT function based on one or more sort columns and that this option ensures that it automatically re-alphabetizes when new data is added to the range.
To learn more about sorting and filtering data in Google Sheets, check out these guides on: