Using a custom sort order

Excel 365 2013 2010 2007 2003
In some cases, you may want to sort your data in non-standard ways. For example, if your data consists of month names, you usually want it to appear in month order rather than alphabetically.

If you want to sort your data, follow the next steps:

   1.   Open the Sort dialog box, do one of the following:

  • On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click the Sort & Filter list and choose Custom Sort...:
    Custom Sort in Excel 2016 menu
  • Right-click any cell in the table and choose Sort -> Custom Sort... in the shortcut menu:
    Custom Sort in Excel 2016 popup

   2.   In the Sort dialog box, in the Order column, select the Custom List...:

Sort dialog box in Excel 2016

   3.   In the Custom Lists dialog box, choose the custom sort list or create a new list:

  • Excel, by default, has four "custom lists", and you can define your own. Excel's custom lists are as follows:
    Custom Sort Lists in Excel 2016
    • Abbreviated days: Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat
    • Days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
    • Abbreviated months: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
    • Months: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

    Note that the abbreviated days and months do not have periods after them. If you use periods for these abbreviations, they are not recognized (and are not sorted correctly).

  • You may want to create a custom list. For example, your company may have several stores, and you want the stores to be listed in a particular order (not alphabetically).

    To create a custom list, select the NEW LIST option and make your entries (in order) in the List Entries box.

See also this tip in French: Comment utiliser un ordre de tri personnalisé.

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