Custom Sorting

Sorting data is an integral part of data analysis. You might want to arrange a list of names in alphabetical order, compile a list of product inventory levels from highest to lowest, or order rows by colors or icons. Sorting data helps you quickly visualize and understand your data better, organize and find the data that you want, and ultimately make more effective decisions.

You can sort data by text (A to Z or Z to A), numbers (smallest to largest or largest to smallest), and dates and times (oldest to newest and newest to oldest) in one or more columns. However, sometimes we need our list to be sorted according to some custom parameters such as product type, currency codes, locations etc. Suppose you are working on a table containing data of employees and you want this table to be sorted by Employee Designation as listed below.

  • Associate
  • Senior Associate
  • Officer
  • Manager
  • Senior Manager
  • Assistant Vice President
  • Vice President
  • Managing Director

In this case, the list sorted alphabetically by employee designation will make no sense. However, if the list is sorted according to the position of designation, it will make much more impact. For doing so you can create a custom sorting list and use that list to sort your data. And whats great about creating this list is that once this list is created in your Excel Application you can use this to sort any table. Let’s see how we can create this list

How to Create Custom Sorting List

For creating a custom sorting list go to

Data Menu ⇒ Sort ⇒ In the Sort Dialog Box go to Order ⇒ Select Custom List… ⇒ In the Custom List dialog box select NEW LIST in the left box and enter your List Parameters in right box ⇒ OK

Image result for downward arrow symbol

Image result for downward arrow symbol

And your list will be sorted according to employee designation. You can see some of the predefined lists here (Sun, Mon,.. & Jan, Feb, Mar,…) hence you can sort your list by these as well.

Additional Benefits of creating Custom Lists

1. You can use this list to sort any table now.

2. If you type one of the parameters in any cell and drag to fill other cells, it will fill in all the custom list parameters

Hope this post helped you figure out how to create and use Custom Lists. Feel free to post comments, suggestions to improve. And Be Awesome…

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