This quick tip is using Excel 2010, however, it works the same in Excel 2007 and Excel 2013.
Previously I showed how you can easily Sort a Column in Excel using the Sort & Filter Button. That works great for a single column, but what if you want to sub-sort on another column, or columns?
What is Sub Sorting?
Sub-Sorting is the process where if there are two or more items that have the same value, in the sorting column, you can sort within those items to put them in a better order.
A common example would be if you have a series of names, and you want to sort by last name, then if there is a match, you want to sub-sort by first name.
So how do you do it?
Well it turns out that it is very similar. You still start by clicking on the Sort & Filter Button, however, you then choose your Custom Sort option from the pop-up menu.
This will bring up a new window. From this window you will want to click on the “Add Column” button. Then choose how you wish to sort that column. (i.e. in Ascending, Descending, or a custom format.)
Then click the “Add Column” button again, and choose how to sort that column. Repeat this process as many times as is necessary. This will allow you to sub-sort.
You can see the multiple column choice in the image below.