How to Sort in Alphabetical Order (A to Z or Z to A) in Excel

- Written by Puneet


In Excel, when you sort text data, it always sorts it alphabetically, from A to Z or Z to A. These two orders are already available to use while sorting. And A-Z is the default order which Excel uses to sort text data.

Let’s take an example of Sorting in Alphabetical Order

In the below example, you have a list of names in column A.

  1. Select a cell from the column.
  2. And then, once you go to the Data > Sort to open the SORT dialog box.
  3. The dialog box shows that the order is already set from A to Z.
  4. In the end, click OK, and when you click OK, it sorts all the names alphabetically from A to Z.

And if you want to use Z to A order, you need to change the order to Z to A from the “Order” drop-down.


Quick Tip: To open the SORT dialog box, use the keyboard shortcut Alt > A > S > S.

Can I Sort Numbers in an Alphabetical Order?

Excel considers numbers as a different data type than text. And to sort numbers, it used smallest to largest or largest to smallest order.

Excel won’t use alphabetical order even if you save numbers with the text format.

If you still want to sort numbers in alphabetical order, insert a helper column and then use the alphabet to create an order to sort the numbers.


In the above example, we used a helper column, as I said, and sorted the entire data based on those alphabets.

Using the SORT Function

In Excel, there is a new function, SORT, that you can also use. Enter the function in a cell and select the data range you want to sort.


In the [sort_index] column, enter 1, as we have only one column in the data. And in the [sort_order] enter 1 for the descending (A-Z) order.


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Last Updated: April 28, 2024