Sorting data in Excel by using more than one criteria

You can download here the worksheet from this video to practice it by yourself!

When should you sort by more than one criterion?

Custom sorting in Excel allows you use the advanced option of sorting data by multiple criteria. Similar to the regular sort function, sorting by more than one criterion is helpful for dealing with long lists, but provides more flexibility.

The accompanying video shows you how to arrange a list of students by grade and name. In the same manner you can sort a list of alumni by class year and then name.

When you sort by more than one criterion in Excel, start by sorting the main categories first, and the details second.

A main category will usually contain a repeated value (a value that appears many times), for example: age, class year, grade, state, gender, or day of the week.
Your secondary sort column (the one with the details) should usually be something that is less likely to repeat itself such as a name, ID number or dollar amount.