How to Alphabetize in Google Sheets (Step-by-Step)

Google Sheets has some useful tools that you can use when working with data.

There are multiple ways you can use to alphabetize data in Google Sheets (i.e., sort data in alphabetical order in Google sheets). You can also use these same methods when you want to sort data based on the numerical value or date.

For this article, we are going to focus on how to alphabetically organize your data in Google Sheets.

So, let’s get started

Alphabetize Data Using the SORT function

With the SORT function in Google Sheets, you can easily alphabetize a single column and multiple columns data.

Alphabetizing a Single Column Data

Suppose you have a dataset as shown below and you want to quickly alphabetize this single-column data in an ascending order (A to Z).

Single Column Data to Alphabetize

Below is the formula that will sort this data alphabetically in an ascending order (A to Z):

=SORT(A2:A12)

Sort Function to alphabetize a single column data - result

While the SORT function can take more arguments, if you want to quickly sort a single column data alphabetically (A to Z), you just need to give that range as the argument in the formula.

Also, note that the result of this SORT formula is an array. It occupies the same range size as that of the input range. Once you have used this formula, you won’t be able to change any part of the array.

For example, if you want to delete one single cell from the result, you won’t be able to do it. You can delete the entire formula result, but not just one cell value.

In case you want to change a part of the result, you can first convert the formula result to values and then make the changes.

In case the cell (where the resulting data is to appear) is already filled, the formula will give you an error.

One of the best parts about using a formula to alphabetize data in Google Sheets is that the resulting data is dynamic. This means that if you change any cell in the original dataset, the resulting data would automatically adjust the sort and give you the updated result.

Alphabetizing Multiple Columns Data

In case you have a dataset where there are more than one column, you can still use the SORT function to alphabetize data based on one of the columns.

For example, suppose you have a dataset as shown below and you want to sort this entire dataset alphabetically using the country names.

Sort Multiple Columns in Google Sheets - Dataset

Below formula can do this:

=SORT(A2:B11,1,FALSE)

Formula to Alphabetize multiple columns

The above formula takes three arguments:

  • range: the range that you want to sort. Select all the columns here that you want to sort
  • sort_column: The column based on which you want to sort. In this example, it’s the second column which has the GDP numbers
  • is_ascending: TRUE if you want the sorting to be ascending and FALSE if you want it to be descending. We have chosen FALSE as we want the highest GDP country at the top.

Alphabetizing Data Using In-Built Sort Options

The SORT function covered above gives you the dynamic result, which is linked to the original dataset and changes if the original data changes,

In case you just want to alphabetize the data and get static value, you can use the in-built sorting options in Google Sheets.

Suppose you have the dataset as shown below and you want to alphabetize this data (A to Z):

Single Column Data to Alphabetize

Below are the steps to alphabetize this data in Google Sheets:

  1. Select the entire column
  2. Click the Data option in the menuClick the Data option in the menu
  3. Click on the ‘Sort range’ optionClick the Sort range option
  4. In the Sort Range dialog box, click on the option ‘Data has header row’. In case your data doesn’t have a header row, you can keep this unchecked.Select Data has header rows checkbox
  5. In the ‘Sort by’ drop-down, make sure the correct header is selected (in this example, since we only have one column, that header is selected by default)Select the sort by column option from the drop down
  6. Select the Sort criteria as A to ZSelect the sorting criteria
  7. Click on Sort.Click on the Sort Option

The steps above would instantly sort the data alphabetically from A to Z.

In case you have multiple columns and you want to alphabetize the entire dataset based on one column, you can do that as well.

Suppose you have the data set as shown below and you want to sort this data alphabetically (by country names).

Below are the steps to alphabetize this dataset:

  1. Select the entire dataset (including the headers)
  2. Click the Data option in the menu
  3. Click on the ‘Sort range’ option
  4. In the Sort Range dialog box, click on the option ‘Data has header row’.
  5. In the ‘Sort by’ drop-down, make sure the correct header is selected (in this example, select the Country column)Select the column based on which you want to alphabetize
  6. Select the Sort criteria as A to ZSelect the sort criteria for multple columns
  7. Click on the Sort button.Click on the Sort button

The above steps would instantly sort the entire dataset alphabetically based on the country names.

Alphabetically Sorting Your Data in Google Sheets on Your Smartphone

If you want to sort a data cell range in your Google Sheet on your smartphone, you need to follow these steps:

  1. First, open the Google Sheets application on your phone and log in to the app using your credentials.
  2. Choose a Google Sheet to edit by tapping on it. You might have to scroll down to find your sheet if you happen to have multiple sheets stored in your app.
  3. Locate the data column that you want to assort alphabetically. You will find the column’s letter on the top of the column. Tap it to highlight the entire column’s data.
  4. If you tap the letter another time, a small menu will appear.
  5. Go through the menu and tap on the arrow labeled as “More” until you spot the Sort A – Z option.
  6. If you have an Android phone, you will need to tap the icon that looks like three vertically or horizontally fixed dots. Scroll down until you locate the Sort A – Z option.
  7. Tap on “Sort A – Z” to alphabetically arrange the data in your chosen column.

There you have it. You now know how to alphabetize your data in Google Sheets.

Now, we would like to discuss the difference between filtering and sorting the data.

You may also like the following Google Sheets tutorials:

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