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How to sort data by custom list in Excel?

Author: Kelly Last Modified: 2013-05-29

We can sort date in ascending order (from A to Z, form lowest to highest) or in descending order (from Z to A or form highest to lowest) in Excel easily. However, sometime you may want to sort data in a customizing order for some reasons, such as special name list, product name list, etc.

Supposing I have a sales table as the following screen shot shows. I do not want to sort the by the sales volumes, but sort the salespersons in a custom order as: Peter, Ann, Marsha, Jim, Cindy, John, and Joe. How can we sort data according to a custom list in Excel?


Please process the following steps:

Step 1: Select the range that you will sort by custom list. In this case, select the range of A2:H8.

Step 2: Click the biggest Sort button in Sort & Filter group under Data tab.

You can also click the Custom Sort item from the drop down list of Sort & Filter button under Home tab.

Step 3: In the Sort dialog box, specify the Sort by columns in the Sort by box.

Step 4: In the Order box, select the Custom list from the drop down list. See the following screen shot.

Step 5: the Custom Lists dialog box pops up, select and highlight the requiring list from the custom lists box, and click OK.

Step 6: Now you get back to the Sort dialog box, click OK.

Then it sorts the select data by the custom list immediately.

Note: the custom list you apply for sorting must has been created before. Click to know How to create a new custom list?

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Excellent description for excel.
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