How to alphabetize in Excel using Excel functions and keyboard shortcuts

How to alphabetize in Excel

Alphabetize is a must-know technique in Excel. You can do alphabetize just in few simple steps using two handy features in Excel.

  1. Sort
  2. Filter

Sort to Alphabetize in Excel

Step 1

First of all select the relevant column you suppose to sort. You can drag the cursor over the relevant area to select it. If you select more than one column, corresponding data in other columns also change accordingly. When you need to sort only one column you are good to go. Here I will show you both the ways.

Select one column
Only one column selected

Step 2

Click on the Data tab in the Menu bar.

Click on the Data tab
Click on the Data tab

Step 3

Then click on Sort. After you click on Sort a dialogue box pops up. There you can select whether to sort only the selection or expand the selection.

Alphabetize in Excel - Sort warning
Sort warning

Continue with the current selection

After choosing the current selection a new dialogue box pops up choose the Order you suppose to sort. Simply Ok the dialogue box. The sorting applies only to the selected area.

Sorting
Sorting
Sorted column
Sorted column

Expand the selection

Select the column that supposes to sort from the Sort by drop-down menu and select the Order you suppose to sort. Here I select Name. After selecting the relevant column click Ok. The selected column sorts and the corresponding columns sort accordingly.

Alphabetize in Excel
Expand the selection
Alphabetize in Excel
Sorted table

Filter Alphabetize in Excel

Step 1

Select the column/columns you want to alphabetize. You can drag the cursor over the relevant area to select it.

Filter Alphabetize in Excel
Only one column selected

Step 2

Click on the Data in the Menu bar.

Alphabetize in Excel
Click on Data tab

Step 3

Then click on Filter. Afterward, a drop-down arrow appears on the top row of the selected column/columns.

Alphabetize in Excel
One column selected

Step 4

Click the arrow and a drop-down menu collapses. Select the order either Sort A to Z or Sort Z to A and click Ok.

Alphabetize in Excel
Select the order

After selecting the order, Sort warning dialogue pops up. Here can select either Expand the selection or Continue with the current selection.

Alphabetize in Excel
Sort warning dialogue box

Continue with the current selection

When you pick the Continue with the current selection only selected column to alphabetize.

Alphabetize in Excel
Alphabetized column (Z to A)

Expand the selection

When you pick the Expand the selection the selected column filters and the other columns change correspondingly.

Alphabetize in Excel
Alphabetized table (Z to A)

Shortcuts to Alphabetize in Excel

You can use simple keyboard shortcuts to Alphabetize in Excel.

Alt + D, S

This shortcut will directly open the Sort warning dialogue box. Here you can select either Expand the selection or Continue with the current selection. After that select the Sort by and the Order. Click Ok to alphabetize the data.

Alt + H, S, S

This shortcut will directly open the Sort warning dialogue box. Here you can select either Expand the selection or Continue with the current selection. Click Ok to alphabetize the data in Ascending order (A to Z).

Alt + H, S, O

This shortcut will directly open the Sort warning dialogue box. Here you can select either Expand the selection or Continue with the current selection. Click Ok to alphabetize the data in Descending order (Z to A).

Author of Get Basic Idea / Second year IT undergraduate.

Sandali Tharuki

Author of Get Basic Idea / Second year IT undergraduate.

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