How to Sort on More than Three Columns in Excel

While Microsoft Excel 2007 lets you sort on any number of columns, older versions of Excel limit you to sorting on three columns.

Here's an article on how to sort on more than three columns in Microsoft Excel at Microsoft Support.  This method involves tiered sorting, i.e., sorting the least important column or group of columns first, then finishing the sort with the most important column(s). This way is foolproof and allows for mixing ascending and descending sorts.  Unfortunately, it can be tedious and a bit confusing.

That's why I'll also point out this Tech Republic article that details an alternative method for sorting more than three columns at a time in Excel.  This method involves concatenating and is easy, but you must make sure that your fields remain a consistent length or your sorts could go astray.

You can also do a web search for Visual Basic code such as this one that you can add as a module to increase your sorting possibilities in pre-2007 Excel versions.

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