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How to Alphabetize in Google Sheets

Efficient data management is crucial, and alphabetizing in Google Sheets is a fundamental skill that can help you quickly organize and access your information. Here’s how to do it, step by step.

Alphabetizing a Single Column

  1. Highlight the Range: Click and drag from the first cell to the last cell in the column you want to sort.
  2. Freeze the Header Row: If you have headers, go to View > Freeze > 1 row.
  3. Open Sort Range: Click Data, then Sort range, followed by Advanced range sorting options.
  4. Specify Header Row: Check Data has header row if you have column headers.
  5. Choose Sorting Order: Select A → Z or Z → A to sort the column in ascending or descending order.
  6. Execute Sort: Click Sort to alphabetize the column.

Alphabetizing Multiple Columns

  1. Select Data Range: Highlight the cells across the columns you want to sort.
  2. Freeze Headers: Freeze the header row if necessary.
  3. Access Sort Options: Click Data, then Sort range, and choose Advanced range sorting options.
  4. Indicate Headers: Ensure Data has header row is checked for ranges with headers.
  5. Set Primary Sort Column: Choose the main column for sorting and the order.
  6. Add Secondary Sort Columns: Add additional columns and their sort order.
  7. Apply Sorting: Click Sort to alphabetize the data.


Q: How do I keep rows together when alphabetizing in Google Sheets? A: To keep rows together, highlight the entire range of data you want to sort before alphabetizing. Ensure you check the ‘Data has header row’ option if your data includes headers.

Q: Can I alphabetize data that includes numbers and special characters? A: Yes, Google Sheets sorts numbers and special characters along with text. Just select the column or range and use the sorting feature to organize your data alphabetically.

Q: What if I want to alphabetize my data but keep it within a specific category? A: You can sort your data within categories by using the ‘Sort range’ feature and selecting the range that includes your categories. Then, sort by the category column first before sorting alphabetically.

Q: Is there a way to alphabetize my data automatically every time new data is added? A: While Google Sheets doesn’t automatically sort new data as it’s entered, you can use the ‘SORT’ function in a new sheet or range to display a sorted version of your data that updates dynamically.

Q: How can I undo alphabetization if I make a mistake? A: If you’ve recently alphabetized data and need to revert the changes, you can use the ‘Undo’ command (Ctrl + Z or Cmd + Z) immediately after sorting. If you’ve made other changes after sorting, you may need to manually re-sort or restore an earlier version of your sheet.


Alphabetizing in Google Sheets is a quick and easy way to organize your data. With these steps, you can sort through your information efficiently, whether you’re working with a single column or multiple columns.

For more detailed instructions on sorting and other features, visit the Google Sheets Help Center.

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