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Using the Sort command, you can sort on multiple columns at the same time and Excel has expanded this capability substantially in versions 2007 and in 2010. As we look at this data, it may be important to you to see the data in order possibly by department, but in some of these departments, we have over 100 people. And so we'd like to be able to look at that portion of the list and see it in order perhaps by Status, maybe by Employee Name, maybe by Salary, or maybe a combination of those.
If your needs are to sort on more than one column and if you have not used the Sort buttons, which have their limitations and yet could work if you are only thinking about two columns or possibly three, go to the Sort command. Now, once again, click on a single cell within the data. Go to the Sort command button on the Data tab. Let's imagine that our major grouping that we're looking for here, in other words the very first column, the dominant sorting arrangement here, is to be by department.
As we suggested because in some departments there are many, many people, and we would want that to be alphabetical, make it be A to Z. Let's add another level and this, we want to put in by Status. Half Time, Full Time, etcetera. Add another level. We want those people perhaps to be in order by their salaries, and maybe we want to see the highest salaries first. So we'll choose Largest to Smallest. Now, it's possible that we still might have within certain organizations here because there are a lot of people, a lot of people with the same salary.
So let's add a fourth level. Now it's important to note here too that in all versions prior to Excel 2007, you could only sort on three fields at once. We're about to use a fourth right here and it will be the Employee Name. And it's unlike that they will have people with the same name within the organization. It's certainly possible but we don't need another level here, although certainly with other kinds of data here and there you will, and the response to a lot of complaints about being only able to sort on three fields at once, this limit has now been raised to believe it or not 64 levels.
Here we're using four levels: Department, Status, Salary, Employee Name. Click OK, there we are! And there are all the people in the same department and here are all the people who are full-time within this department. And how are they ordered? They are in descending order by the salaries. It looks like no two salaries there are alike, so the fourth order, by Name, really doesn't have a role to play here, although it certainly could in some situations. So being able to sort on multiple fields is probably best handled by way of the Sort command.
If you're pretty adept with the AZ and ZA buttons, you could have achieve the same objective, although it probably would have taken longer. In those cases, you probably refer to the previous movie to see how that's done. So multiple key sorting, big expansion in terms of capability in Excel 2007 and in Excel 2010. Best way to do that is to use the Sort command as we just saw.
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