Excel/alpha sorting


I am using Excel to enter business expenses from my checkbook.  (I do not need double-entry.)  I set up my main categories to match Sch C.  

I am a sole proprietor

This is my first tax season with Office 2016, and I'm still working out the kinks.  A lot seems to have disappeared, is hiding, or has been renamed.


I set up 4 columns:
payee - Sch C type [office expense, journals] - detail [envelopes] - amount

Col. B is the name of the payee; col. C is the Sch C type; col. D is the detail; col. E is the amount.  (Col. A is the date.)


When I used Office 2003, I was able to sort by specifying a column as the "control" and highlighting the columns to the right of it.  I cannot find how to do that in 2016.  


In the past:

After I entered the check register, I opened a new sheet and copied cols. B/C/D/E to it.  Then I alpha sorted on col. B (Sch C category), bringing along the cols. C/D/E also.  That is, 4 columns were alpha sorted, governed by first letter of col. B.

Then I alpha sorted again until I ended up with the expense detail and the amount, in alpha order by detail (col. D).


I can alpha sort based on col. B, but I can't figure out how to re-alpha sort on C, etc.  I have been all over the Web.  I have "Office 2016 for Dummies" which doesn't even index on "sort"!

I hope I have described clearly what I want to do!  If not, please let me know.  Thank you in advance!

Sort is found in Data/Sort. Choose Sort by Column B, then click the "Add Level" button, then Sort by C, etc.

Or, you could simply click anywhere in E, then click the A-->Z icon near the Sort button, then click in D, click the button, then click in C, click the button, then B & click the button and you will have sorted B major, then C then D then E, as you wish.
About Excel
This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Excel spreadsheet (or workbook) stand-alone or Mircrosoft Office Excel including Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Excel help on Excel formulas(or functions), Excell macros, charting in Excel, advanced features, and the general use of Excel. This does not provide a general Excel tutorial nor the basics of using a spreadsheet. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Excel only. If you do not see your Excel question answered in this area then please ask an Excel question here


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Bob Umlas


I`m a Microsoft Excel MVP (Most Valuable Professional) and have been since the inception of the program in 1995. I can answer every kind of Excel question except: API, Importing/exporting to other programs (powerpoint, word,...) Also check out my in-person training link at http://www.thumbtack.com/ny/new-york/excel-training/


Worked with MS Excel since version 0.99 (on the Mac!). Was contributing editor to Excellence Magazine, having written >300 articles. John Walkenbach said of me "I finally met someone who knows as much about Excel as I do."

Excellence, The Expert, Microsoft

BA in math, Hofstra University, 1965

Awards and Honors
Led sessions for the Convergence 2004-2006 seminar on Excel tips & tricks

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.