Excel and Side Ways Sorting

Yes, it is possible

I found out something new from one of my webinar attendees recently. You can sort sideways in Excel.

I was under the assumption that you couldn’t sort by columns, that you could only sort by rows. Well, there is an option in the Sort dialog that allows you to sort by columns.

My table below has a few issues in terms of getting the dates sorted out in the columns.


If I select the range B1:F5 and right click it, I can choose Sort and then Custom Sort.


In the Sort dialog the Options button opens the Sort Options dialog and allows you to change how you sort.


Once selected, you can choose the row to sort by, rather than the normal column selection.

Sideways_04This is particularly useful if you are using the HLOOKUP function and need to ensure the row you are looking up is sorted.


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4 thoughts on “Excel and Side Ways Sorting

  1. Great tip Neale. I’ve had the same thought as you. This could come in handy from time-to-time!!

  2. Neale Blackwood, you are the man! The MS Office help didn’t give any indication that sorting by column was possible. I knew if it was, you’d know. Thank you!