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Sorting Lists

Excel's sorting capabilities let you view data in almost any order, regardless of the order in which you entered it. To quickly sort a list, first click a single cell in the column by which you want to sort, and then click the Sort Ascending button. Excel selects all the data in your list and sorts it alphabetically, using the column that contains the active cell. Click the Sort Descending button to sort in reverse order, using the same column. If you want to sort only a portion of the list, make a selection first, and then use the Tab key to move the active cell to the correct column. This option, used incorrectly, can make a mess of your database, so use it with caution.

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If the order in which you enter data is important, add a column to your list and fill it with numeric values that you can use to identify each row, and then increment it by 1 for each new record. Re-sort using the values in this column to return the list to its original order. Don't use a formula for the data in this column, however—when you sort the list, the values will change and you won't be able to return to the original sort order.



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