Friday, November 30, 2007

“I wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?'” Jerry Seinfeld

So you have a database with many columns full info and now all you have to do to finish it is alphabetize. Thankfully your friend told you about these useful little buttons on the standard toolbar that look like an A to Z going up or down. You choose one of those buttons and suddenly TERROR! One column is organized and the others are not. Your database is ruined. Those two buttons have destroyed more peoples work then I can think of. Instead use the sort feature. First click in the data menu at the top and then click sort. Here is where real organizing of data can take place. Now if you have a heading row you will usually see one of the names here. However if not you will see column A. Either way choose the column you want to organize. You can choose if you want to organize by ascending or descending. The nice thing here is that you can select up to three separate areas to organize. As an example I organize a sheet will all my classes but I first sort it by date then by time. Using this way will sort all the data together. I should tell you that you may see a warning if you had selected one column or row ahead of time. You want to choose to expand the selection so it will affect the entire database. So when you have some alphabetizing to get done give this a try and stop listening to that friend.

1 comment:

TaxPayer said...

Why use Data/Sort, when A-Z or Z-A is SO much quicker for most tasks. The reason people have problems with sorting is their data is not arranged properly. As long as you have no blank rows or columns, and you have a FORMATTED header row, you will never run into a problem with the A-Z button.

However, you are correct that Data/Sort is required for a multi-column sort, and other more involved sorting tasks.