One critical feature of the Google Sheets, that often needs clarification is date sorting. This article will delve into an exhaustive, step-by-step guide on how to sort data by date in Google Sheets.
Before we start, it’s important to note that Google Sheets can recognize a wide range of date formats. click on the calendar icon that pops up, and select the desired date. Alternatively, you can also enter the date in the format of “DD/MM/YYYY” or “MM/DD/YYYY”, depending on your actual location settings.
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How to sort by date in Google Sheets
Now, onto the main event: sorting by date. Google Sheets offers two primary approaches to sorting data, including dates: the
- Approach-1: Sort sheet by column
- Approach-2: Sort Range
- Sort Sheet by Column
This method is very much straightforward. When you have a column of dates and you want to sort the entire sheet based on this column, follow these steps:
- The first thing is to freeze the header row, just to make sure it won’t get disturbed, To do that, Click on the View menu –> hover over the Freeze option, then select the 1 row or 2 rows based on your header row position.
- Now, Select any cell in the Date column you wish to sort.
- Click on the “Data” menu.
- Click on “Sort sheet by column A-Z” to sort in ascending order (earliest to latest), or “Sort sheet by column Z-A” in descending order (latest to earliest). Refer to the below screenshot.
- Sort Range
This method is used when you want to sort only a specific range of cells, not the entire sheet.
- Select the range of cells you want to sort in a date column.
- Click on “Data” in the menu.
- Click on “Sort range”.
- Choose whether you want to sort the column in ascending (A-Z) or descending (Z-A) order By choosing
Custom Sorting by Multiple Columns
Sometimes, you might want to sort by date and another column. To do this:
- Select the cells or range you want to sort.
- Click on “Data” > “Sort range” and then you can click on “Advanced range sorting options”.
- Check the box that says “Data has header row” if your range includes headers.
- In the “Sort by” drop-down, select the column containing dates.
- To add another column, click “Add another sort column” and choose the second column for sorting.
- select the order (A-Z or Z-A) for each column based on your requirement.
- Finally, click on the “Sort” button. See the below screenshot for the complete picture.
Troubleshooting Common Issues while sorting dates
If you’re having trouble sorting dates, the problem often lies in the format of the date you are trying to enter. If your date format is not recognized by Google Sheets, it might treat the date as text and sort it incorrectly. Try changing the format to a recognized date format.
Another common issue is blank cells or cells containing text in the date column. Make sure that all the cells in the date column contain valid dates.
- Q: How do I sort a column by date in Google Sheets?
Answer: Follow these steps:
- Click on the column header to highlight the column that you wish to sort.
- Click on the “Data” menu.
- Click on the “Sort sheet by column, A-Z” to sort in ascending order (from earliest to latest) or “Sort sheet by column, Z-A” to sort in descending order (from latest to earliest).
2. Q: What if the dates are not recognized by Google Sheets and it sorts them incorrectly?
Answer: Make sure your dates are in a format recognized by Google Sheets. If the date format isn’t recognized, make sure the date format is “mm/dd/yyyy” or “dd/mm/yyyy”, depending on your regional settings.
3. Q: The ‘Sort sheet by column, A-Z’ or ‘Sort sheet by column, Z-A’ options are greyed out, what should I do?
Answer: Make sure you’ve selected the entire column by clicking the column header, not just a particular cell or a range of cells. If the problem still exists, there may be merged cells in your sheet, that can prevent sorting.
In conclusion, sorting by date in Google Sheets is a simple yet crucial function, By following the above steps mentioned in this article, you can master date sorting in Google Sheets.