Sort data using a custom list

With built-in custom lists, you can sort data by days of the week or months of the year. Or create your own custom lists to sort by any other characteristic that doesn’t sort well alphabetically, such as high, medium, and low or S, M, L, XL.

With custom lists you could sort this worksheet by delivery month or by priority.

Sample table

For example, to sort by days of the week or months of the year with a built-in custom list, you do the following:

  1. Select the columns you want to sort. For the best results, the columns should have headings.
  2. Click Data > Sort.

Sort button

  1. Under Column, in the Sort by box, select the column you want to sort by. For example, if you want to re-sort the previous example by delivery date, under Sort by, choose delivery.

Sort by the delivery column

  1. Under Order, select Custom List.

Sort dialog box

  1. In the Custom Lists box, select the list you want, and then click OK to sort the worksheet.

Custom lists dialog box

Create your own custom list

  1. In a column of a worksheet, type the values you want to sort by in the order you want them, from top to bottom. For example:

Custom list example

  1. Select the cells in that list column, and then click File > Options > Advanced.
  2. Under General, click Edit Custom Lists.
  3. In the Custom Lists box, click Import.

Import a custom list

 Tip    For a short list, such as high, medium, and low, it may be faster to type it directly into the List entries box in the Custom Lists dialog box.

More about ways to sort data

Applies to:
Excel 2013