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2. Hacking Excel’s Built-in Features > 29. Sort by More Than Three Columns

Sort by More Than Three Columns

Excel’s Sort feature is limited in that it enables you to nominate no more than three data fields by which to sort. In most cases, this is enough, but sometimes it can be handy to sort by more than three columns of data. Here is how you can get around this limitation.

For this example, we will assume you have related data in columns A, B, C, D, and E, and you want to sort this data first by column A, then B, then C, then D, and then E. To do this, you need to be able to sort backward — in other words, sort by the last field first, and then work back to the first field.

Select columns A through E and then select Data Sort. Select the sort order by specifying that column C be sorted first, then D, and then E. Click Sort. Now select columns A through E and select Data


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