How to Sort Horizontally in Excel

Have you ever wondered that you can horizontally sort data in Excel? I mean, you can sort columns like you sort rows. Want to know the best part?

So today, in this post, I’d like to share with you simple step to horizontally sort data. And apart from this, I ‘d also like to share a simple tweak which you can do to sort columns in custom order.

Quick Note: It’s one of those Excel Tips that can help to get better at Basic Excel Skills. So let’s get started.

Steps to Sort Columns in Excel

  • First of all, select the data you want to sort.
data to use to sort horizontally in excel
  • Go to Data Tab → Sort & Filter → Click on Sort Button. Now, you will get a pop-up window.
open sorting options to sort horizontally
  • You can also use the shortcut key Alt + A + S + S for sorting pop-up window.
  • Click on options button → Select sort left to right & click OK.
select sort left to right to sort horizontally in excel
  • Now select the row on the basis of which you want to sort your data & click OK.
select row to sort horizontally in excel

Congratulations! you have horizontally sort your data.

sort horizontally data with sort columns in excel technique

Important Note: With Excel tables your are not able to use this technique.

[Custom Order] Horizontal Sorting

In real life, there is more need to sort your columns in a custom order rather than using an alphabetic order.

Follow these simple steps.

  • Add a temporary heading row on the top of your data set & use numbers for creating a custom order.
Steps To Custom Sort Columns In excel
  • Now, open your sorting window.
  • And, sort columns by using your temporary row as a base.
  • After that, just delete the temporary heading now.


It’s the biggest time saver when you have large data sets, 50-100 column. Once you sort all of them, it’s easy to find a column from an alphabetic order.

And, the best thing is you can sort columns in custom order using this method instead of copy-pasting them one by one.

I hope this tip will help you to get better at Excel.


Now tell me one thing. Have you ever tried this method before? Please share with me in the comment section.

And, please don’t forget to share this tip with your friends.

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About the Author

puneet one point one

Puneet is using Excel since his college days. He helped thousands of people to understand the power of the spreadsheets and learn Microsoft Excel. You can find him online, tweeting about Excel, on a running track, or sometimes hiking up a mountain.


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  1. You seem to know a lot about excel. Can you help with this one? I rarely have a header row and want to simply select the range (usually 4-5 columns and anywhere from 5 to 30 rows) and use the a-z (or z-a) button to sort against the 1st column.

    Now for the problem – more than half of the time, excel assumes that the first row is a header row and will not sort it with the rest. I realize I can go to the sort dialog box and un-check the “my data has headers” option. BUT, is there any way to permanently disable the automatic header row option? For the few times I sort with headers, it would be much more convenient to turn on the header row than it is to turn it off dozens of times a day.

  2. Hi Puneet,
    I have not used this technique before .
    I have always just moved columns one by way,
    Your technique will be far better