How to Sort Columns by Date in Excel

Written by stephanie ellen
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How to Sort Columns by Date in Excel
Sort by date using the sort option in Excel. (January 2007 image by Christopher Hall from

Microsoft Excel is spreadsheet software that can help you maintain a large amount of data. When you enter data, you don't always enter it in the order you need it. For example, if you are entering receipts at the end of the year for tax time, you may not enter the receipts in date order. Instead of trying to sort the items manually and entering them in date order, get Excel to do the heavy work for you. Type your items in any order, then use Excel's sort feature.

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Things you need

  • Excel 2007 or Excel 2010

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  1. 1

    Click on the columns you would like to sort. For example, if you want to sort column A, click on the "A" column header to highlight the entire column.

  2. 2

    Click on the "Data" tab, then click on "Sort." This will open the sort dialogue box.

  3. 3

    Click on the "Continue With the Current Selection" radio button, then click on "Sort."

  4. 4

    Click on the arrow underneath "Order" and select either "Newest to Oldest" or "Oldest to Newest" depending on which way you want to sort the dates.

  5. 5

    Make sure the "Sort on" selection box reads "Values," then click on "OK." Excel will sort the column according to date.

Tips and warnings

  • You can sort by multiple levels by clicking on the "Add level" button in the sort dialogue box. For example, if you have one column with year and another column by month, you can sort by year first (choose the column with the year in the top level), then sort by month (choose the month column as the second level).

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