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

Google Sheets has some useful tools that you can use when working with data. If you are someone who likes things in a very particular way, then you’ve probably found yourself needing a way to organize your data in Google Sheets. One of these ways is to alphabetize Google Sheets. So how do you alphabetize in Google Sheets?

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.

Organizing your data in alphabetical order on Google Sheets is not a difficult task. For this article, we will show all how to alphabetize in Google Sheets in every way possible.

So, let’s get started

How to Alphabetize in Google Sheets Using the SORT Function

This article will show you how to make Google Sheets show alphabetical order. The SORT function is one way of using Google Sheets alphabetical order formula. You can easily alphabetize a single column and multiple columns of data and sort data in other ways.

Alphabetizing a Single Column Data

Suppose you have a dataset as shown below, and you are wondering how to alphabetize a column in Google Sheets in ascending order (A to Z).

Single Column Data to Alphabetize

Below is the formula that will sort this data alphabetically in 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.

If 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 will automatically adjust the sort and give you the updated result.

However, with this formula, you can’t use the sort Z-A option meaning you can’t sort the sheet in descending order. For that, you’d have to add a False argument to the formula. The next example shows how to do this as well as tackle multiple columns.

How to Alphabetize Multiple Columns Data in Google Sheets

If you have a dataset with more than one column, you can still use the SORT function to alphabetize data in multiple columns based on one of the columns.

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

Sort Multiple Columns in Google Sheets - Dataset

The 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.

If 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 menu
    Click the Data option in the menu
Click the Sort range option
  1. Click on the ‘Sort range’ option.
  2. The Sort Range dialog box will give you advanced range sorting options. Click on the option ‘Data has header row’. If your data doesn’t have a header row, you can keep this unchecked.
    Select Data has header rows checkbox
  3. In the ‘Sort by’ dropdown menu, 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
  4. Select the Sort criteria as A to Z
    Select the sorting criteria
  5. 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. You can also arrange your data in reverse alphabetical order by choosing Z-A.

Suppose you have the data set as shown above, 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 Z
    Select the sort criteria for multiple 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.

Freeze Header Rows

Freezing rows is a useful way to view data conveniently in Google Sheets by locking the columns or sows so that when you’re scrolling through your sheet, you remain on the screen.

Freezing is also necessary when sorting your data in alphabetical Google Sheets order if your Sheet has a header row. Freezing the header row ensures that the header does not get sorted along with the rest of the data.

To freeze a row or column, select View on the toolbar, then Freeze. You will get a dropdown menu with options of how many rows are how many columns you want to freeze. Choose the number of rows or columns you want to freeze.

Freeze headers in Google Sheets

For a single line header, which is common, you would select View, Freeze, then 1 row. Now, if you scroll down your worksheet, you will see that the row or column you have frozen remains on the screen. Now you can sort the rest of your data alphabetically without affecting the frozen row.

How to Alphabetize Tabs in Google Sheets

If you’re wondering can Google Sheets alphabetize tabs?, the answer is yes! The easiest way to sort tabs in alphabetic order in Google Sheets is to move them manually. To do that, you simply click and drag the sheets to the positions you want them in. This is the most straightforward to sort or alphabetize tabs in Google Sheets.

But you can also use Google app scripts to do this, although this is a much more complicated method.

Go to App Scripts and in the script window paste the following formula :

function sortSheets () {

var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();

var sheetNameArray = [];

var sheets = ss.getSheets();

for (var i = 0; i < sheets.length; i++) {

sheetNameArray.push(sheets[i].getName());

}

sheetNameArray.sort();

for( var j = 0; j < sheets.length; j++ ) {

ss.setActiveSheet(ss.getSheetByName(sheetNameArray[j]));

ss.moveActiveSheet(j + 1);

}

}

Save the project then click run. You might have to give authorization with your Google account. Once the project has been completed, go back to your sheets, and you will see that your tabs have been arranged into alphabetical order sheets.

Alphabetically Sorting Your Data in Google Sheets on Your Smartphone

If you’re using Google Sheets or an Android you might want to use the Google Sheets ABC order. To sort a data cell range in your Google Sheet app 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.
How to Alphabetize in Google Sheets Mobile
  1. If you tap the letter another time, a small menu will appear.
  2. Go through the menu and tap on the arrow labeled “More” until you spot the Sort A – Z option.
  3. If you have an Android phone, you will need to tap the icon that looks like three vertically or horizontally fixed dots.
    Sort options on mobile
  4.  Select Create filter and locate the Sort A – Z option.
sort and filter menu on mobile
  1. Tap on “Sort A – Z” to alphabetically arrange the data in your chosen column.
data sorted alphabetically on Google Sheets for Android

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Alphabetize Sheets in Google Sheets?

Yes, you can alphabetize sheets by using the SORT formula or by using Google Sheets’ in-built options. By heading to Data > Sort. This article shows an in-depth method on Google Sheets and how to alphabetize.

Is There a Way to Automatically Alphabetize in Google Sheets?

Yes, by using Google Sheets’ inbuilt sorting options, you can automatically alphabetize data in Google Sheets. Or you can alphabetize in Google Sheets with Google Apps Script.

Conclusion

In this article, we covered How to Alphabetize in Google Sheets. It has various tools to help you sort your data. In our other articles, you can learn more about sorting in Google Sheets, such as how to sort columns horizontally.

You may also like the following Google Sheets tutorials:

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Sumit

Sumit

Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Expert.

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