#82 Sorting Excel Left-to-Right

An alternative way to sort your spreadsheet data.

Have you ever wanted to sort your spreadsheet data from left to right instead of top to bottom? What did you do? Manually cut & paste? Give up?

Here’s the quick and easy way to sort data across columns instead of rows. A simple change to the sort options gives us exactly what we want, as shown in the before and after example below.

To Sort Left to Right:

  1. Select the table data you want to sort
    (just the data, not the headers –when you change sort orientation, you cannot set header rows)
  2. Go to Data » Sort
  3. Click on Options…
  4. Set “Sort Orientation” to “left to right” instead of “top to bottom” as shown below:
  5. Click OK.

That’s all there is to it. No muss, no fuss! Try it out for yourself.

Plan B: Changing Rows to Columns & Vice Versa

If you have a lot of data and still prefer using the regular sort by rows approach, another option you might like is to transpose your columns into rows using Paste Special…

To Transpose Your Data with Paste Special:

  1. Select the cells that you want to rearrange.
  2. Click the Copy button.
  3. Select the top left cell of where you want to paste your rearranged data. The paste area must be outside the copy area.
  4. Click the arrow next to the paste button and then select Transpose.

Check out this before and after shot:

Paste Special… is a handy way to do many things including transposing rows into columns and vice-versa.


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