How to Create a Custom Sort in MS Excel

By Kathryn Hatashita-Lee

i Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Microsoft Excel 2010 can sort a range of cells on a worksheet. For example, a column of last names can sort from A to Z. Excel's "Home" tab on the command ribbon contains a "Sort & Filter" command in the "Editing" group. The "Custom Sort" option can sort a range by column, and further refine the sort with additional filters, such as values or cell color.

Step 1

Open the Excel worksheet.

Step 2

Click and drag to select the range of cells you wish to custom sort.

Step 3

Click the "Home" tab on the command Ribbon.

Step 4

Click the "Sort & Filter" button in the "Editing" group. A list of options appears.

Step 5

Click the "Custom Sort" option. A dialog window opens. The categories include "Column," "Sort On" and "Order"

Step 6

Select or deselect the check box for "My data has headers."

Step 7

Click the arrow next to the "Sort by" text box in the "Column" category. Select the "Column."

Step 8

Click the arrow in the text box under "Sort On." Select the preferred option, such as values or cell color.

Step 9

Click the arrow in the text box under "Order." For example, "Smallest to Largest" for values, or "A to Z" for text.

Step 10

Click the "Options" button. A small dialog window opens. Select the orientation for sorting, such as "Sort left to right" or "Sort top to bottom." Click "OK." This window closes.

Step 11

Click "OK." The "Sort" window closes. The range of cell contents display the new order.