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How to sort list by specific word(s) in Excel?

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2020-09-27

Sorting string by values is usually used, but have you ever tried to sort strings based on specific word(s)? For instance, sort a list by the number of a word occurrences as below screenshot shown.

Sort by times of “apple” and “banana” appear
doc sort specific word 1 doc arrow right doc sort specific word 2

Sort list by specific word(s)


Sort list by specific word(s)

If you want to sort a list by a specific word or words, you need to count the number of the words appears first.《》、

1. Select a cell next to the list, type this formula =SUM(--ISNUMBER(SEARCH({"apple","banana"}, A1))), apple and banana are the words you need to sort based on, press Enter key and drag fill handle over the cells which need this formula.
doc sort specific word 3

2. Keep the formula cells selected, and click Data > Sort A to Z, and check Expand the selection in the Sort Warning dialog.
doc sort specific word 4

3. Click Sort, then the list has been sorted by the number of appearance of “apple”and “banana””.
doc sort specific word 5


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Comments (2)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
=SUM(--ISNUMBER(SEARCH({"apple","banana"}, A1))), this formula, the system says too many arguments if I want to sort more than 2 specific words, need a help on sorting the values based on multiple values
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, Bhushan, just add the third word into the formula like this:
=SUM(--ISNUMBER(SEARCH({"apple","banana","orange"}, G9)))
https://www.extendoffice.com/images/stories/comments/sun-comment/doc-count-specific-words-1.png
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