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How to sort data ignoring the first character in Excel?

Author: Xiaoyang Last Modified: 2020-07-24

It is easy for us to sort data in ascending or descending order in Excel, is it possible to sort a column without the first one or two or n characters in a cell? For example, I have the following data range, I want to sort the list of data ignoring the first three characters, that is to say, I need to sort the data from the fourth character of the text as following screenshots shown:

doc-sort-ignoring-first-letter-1 -2 doc-sort-ignoring-first-letter-2

Sort data ignoring the first n characters with helper column


arrow blue right bubble Sort data ignoring the first n characters with helper column

In Excel, you can create a helper column to remove the first n character that you want to ignore before you sort the list of data, and then sort them normally. Please do as follows:

1. In a blank cell besides your data, enter this formula: =RIGHT(A2,LEN(A2)-3) (A2 is the cell which contains the data that you want to sort, the number 3 indicates the number of the character that you want to remove, you can change it to your need), see screenshot:

doc-sort-ignoring-first-letter-3

2. And then drag the fill handle over to the range that you want to apply this formula, and all the first three characters have been removed from the text string, see screenshot:

doc-sort-ignoring-first-letter-4

3. Then sort the data by this helper column, select the data range (A2:B12 in this example), and click Data > Sort, see screenshot:

doc-sort-ignoring-first-letter-7

4. In the Sort dialog box, choose the helper column name that you want to sort by, and select Values from the Sort On section, at last, specify the sort order you need, see screenshot:

doc-sort-ignoring-first-letter-5

5. And then click OK to close this dialog, now, you can see your data has been sorted without the first three characters, see screenshot:

doc-sort-ignoring-first-letter-6

6. At last, you can delete the content of the helper column as you need.


Related articles:

How to sort cells by last character or number in Excel?

How to sort cells by absolute values in Excel?

How to sort data by the most frequent value in Excel?

How to sort email address by domain in Excel?

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Comments (2)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Excellent tutorial! This came in handy and saved me time, you should feel proud! (:
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
What about if you want to have it check if the cell starts with the word The and then will cut that out, otherwise, leave the data alone?
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