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This tutorial will teach you a few quick and easy ways to put Excel in alphabetical order. It also provides solutions for non-trivial tasks, for example how to alphabetize by last name when the entries start with the first name.

This tutorial will show you a few quick ways to alphabetize in Excel and teach how to foresee and prevent sorting problems.

How to alphabetize in Excel

Overall, there are 3 main ways to sort alphabetically in Excel: A-Z or Z-A button, the Sort feature, and filter. Below you will find the detailed guidance on each method.

How to sort a column alphabetically

The fastest way to sort alphabetically in Excel is this:

Select any cell in the column you want to sort.

Either way, Excel will alphabetize your list instantaneously:

Alphabetize and keep rows together

If your data set contains two or more columns, you can use the A-Z or Z-A button to put one of the columns in alphabetical order and Excel will automatically move the data in other columns, keeping the rows intact.

As you can see in the sorted table on the right, the related information in each row is kept together:

Filter and alphabetize in Excel

Adding a filter to your table is easy:

Select one or several column headers.

The column is alphabetized straight away, and a small upward arrow on the filter button indicates the sorting order (ascending):

To reverse the order, select Sort Z to A from the filter drop-down menu.

How to put multiple columns in alphabetical order

In case you want to alphabetize data in several columns, use the Excel Sort command, which gives more control over how your data is sorted.

As an example, let’s add one more column to our table, and then arrange the entries alphabetically first by Region, and then by Name:

To have it done, please perform the following steps:

Select the entire table you want to sort.

In most cases, you can select just one cell and Excel will pick the rest of your data automatically, but this is an error-prone approach, especially when there are some gaps (blank cells) within your data.

The Sort dialog box will show up with the first sorting level created for you automatically as Excel sees fit.

In the Sort by dropdown box, select the column you want to alphabetize first, Region in our case. In the other two boxes, leave the default settings: Sort On – Cell values and Order – A to Z:

Tip. If the first dropdown is showing column letters instead of headings, tick off the My data has headers box.

In this example, the second level sorts the values in the Name column alphabetically from A to Z:

Excel will sort your data in the specified order. As shown in the screenshot below, our table is arranged alphabetically exactly as it should: first by Region, and then by Name:

How to sort rows alphabetically in Excel

If your data is arranged horizontally, you may want to sort it alphabetically across rows. This can also be done by using the Excel Sort feature. Here’s how:

Select the range you want to sort. If your table has row labels that should not be moved, be sure to leave them out.

As the result, the first row in our table is sorted in alphabetical order, and the rest of the data is rearranged accordingly, preserving all correlations between the entries:

Problems with sorting alphabetically in Excel

Excel sort features are amazing, but if you are working with an imperfectly structured data, things may go terribly wrong. Here are the two common issues.

Blank or hidden columns and rows

An easy fix is to eliminate the blanks and unhide all hidden areas before sorting. Or, select the entire table first, and then alphabetize.

Unrecognizable column headers

If your column headers are formatted differently from the rest of the data, Excel is smart enough to identify them and exclude from sorting. But if the header row has no special formatting, your column headers will most likely be treated as regular entries and end up somewhere in the middle of the sorted data. To prevent this from happening, select only the data rows, and then sort.

When using the Sort dialog box, make sure the My data has headers checkbox is selected.

How to sort alphabetically in Excel with formulas

Microsoft Excel provides a variety of features to cope with many different tasks. Many, but not all. If you are facing a challenge for which there is no built-in solution, chances are it can be accomplished with a formula. It is also true for alphabetical sorting. Below, you will find a couple of examples when alphabetical order can only be done with formulas.

How to alphabetize in Excel by last name

Since there are a few common ways to write names in English, you may sometimes find yourself in a situation when the entries start with the first name while you need to alphabetize them by the last name:

Excel’s sort options cannot help in this case, so let’s resort to formulas.

With a full name in A2, insert the following formulas in two different cells, and then copy them down the columns until the last cell with data:

In C2, extract the first name:

=LEFT(A2,SEARCH(" ",A2)-1)

In D2, pull the last name:

=RIGHT(A2,LEN(A2)-SEARCH(" ",A2,1))

And then, concatenated the parts in the reverse order separated by comma:

=D2&", "&C2

The detailed explanation of the formulas can be found here, for now let’s just focus on the results:

In case you need to revert to the original First Name Last Name format, there is a little more work for you to do:

Split the names into two parts again by using the below formulas (where E2 is a comma-separated name):

Get the first name:

=RIGHT(E2, LEN(E2) - SEARCH(" ", E2))

Get the last name:

=LEFT(E2, SEARCH(" ", E2) - 2)

And bring the two parts together:

=G2&" "&H2

Perform the formulas to values conversion one more time, and you are good to go!

The process may look a bit complex on paper, but trust me, it will take only a few minutes in your Excel. In fact, it will take even less time than reading this tutorial, let alone alphabetizing the names manually 🙂

How to alphabetize each row individually in Excel

In one of the previous examples we discussed how to alphabetize rows in Excel by using the Sort dialog box. In that example, we were dealing with a correlated set of data. But what if each row contains independent information? How do you alphabetize each row individually?

In case you have a reasonable number of rows, you can sort them one by one performing these steps. If you have hundreds or thousands of rows, that would be an enormous waste of time. Formulas can do the same thing much faster.

Suppose you have many rows of data that should be re-arranged alphabetically like this:

To begin with, copy the row labels to another worksheet or another location in the same sheet, and then use the following array formula to put each row in alphabetical order (where B2:D2 is the first row in the source table):

=INDEX($B2:$D2, MATCH(COLUMNS($B2:B2), COUNTIF($B2:$D2, "<="&$B2:$D2), 0))

Please remember that the correct way to enter an array formula in Excel is by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Enter.

If you are not very comfortable with Excel array formulas, please following these steps to enter it correctly in your worksheet:

Type the formula in the first cell (G2 in our case), and press

Ctrl + Shift + Enter

. As you do this, Excel will enclose the formula in {curly braces}. Do not try typing the braces manually, that won’t work.

Select the formula cell (G2) and drag the fill handle rightwards to copy the formula to other cells of the first row (up to cell I2 in this example).

Select all the formula cells in the first row (G2:I2) and drag the fill handle downwards to copy the formula to other rows.

Important note! The above formula works with a couple of caveats: your source data should not contain empty cells or duplicate values.

If your dataset has some blanks, wrap the formula in the IFERROR function:

=IFERROR(INDEX($B2:$D2,MATCH(COLUMNS($B2:B2),COUNTIF($B2:$D2,"<="&$B2:$D2),0)), "")

How this formula works

The above formula is based on the classic INDEX MATCH combination used to perform horizontal lookup in Excel. But since we need kind of “alphabetical lookup”, we have rebuilt it in this way:

COUNTIF($B2:$D2,”<=”&$B2:$D2) compares all the values in the same row with each other and returns an array of their relative ranks. For example, in row 2 it returns {2,3,1}, meaning Caden is 2nd, Oliver is 3rd, and Aria is 1st. This way, we get the lookup array for the MATCH function.

COLUMNS($B2:B2) supplies the lookup value. Due to a clever use of absolute and relative references, the returned number is incremented by 1 as we go right. That is, for G2, the lookup value is 1, for H2 – 2, for I2 – 3.

MATCH searches for the lookup value calculated by COLUMNS() in the lookup array returned by COUNTIF(), and returns its relative position. For example, for G2, the lookup value is 1, which is in the 3rd position in the lookup array, so MATCH returns 3.

Finally, INDEX extracts the real value based on its relative position in the row. For G2, it fetches the 3rd value in the range B2:D2, which is Aria.

How to sort each column alphabetically in Excel

If you are dealing with independent subsets of data organized vertically in columns, you can easily tweak the above formula to alphabetize each column individually. Just replace COLUMNS() with ROWS(), make a few column coordinates absolute and row coordinates relative and your formula is ready:

=INDEX(A$3:A$5,MATCH(ROWS(A$3:A3),COUNTIF(A$3:A$5,"<="&A$3:A$5),0))

Please remember it’s an array formula, which should be completed with Ctrl + Shift + Enter:

To have a closer look at the formulas discussed in this tutorial, you are welcome to download our Excel Alphabetical Order worksheet. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!

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## How To Increment A Value By Row Or Column In Excel

Generic Formula

Expression: This is the value, reference of expression with which you want to increment. It can be a hardcoded value or any expression that returns a valid output. It should be an absolute expression (in most cases).

Number of rows above the first formula: If you are writing this first formula in B3 then the number of rows above this formula will be 2.

[steps]: This is optional. This is the number of steps you want to jump in the next increment.

The Arithmetic operator between expression and formula can be replaced with other operators to suit the requirements of increment.

So that we are familiar with the generic formula, let’s see some examples.

Example 1: Create an Auto Increment Formula for ID Creation.

Using the general formula we write the below formula in Cell B4 and copy it down.

We have replaced the + operator with ampersand operator (&) since we wanted to concatenate. And since we are writing the first formula in Cell B4, we subtract 3 from ROW (). The result is here.

Example 2: Increment the ID every 2 steps

If you want to increment the ID every 2 steps then you will need to write this formula.

The result is:

C1 contains 100.

Next we subtract 3 from it (since there are 3 rows above the 4th row). It gives us 1. This is important. It should be a hard coded value so that it does not change as we copy the formula below.

Finally the value 1 is multiplied (or any other operation) by the starting expression. As we copy the formula below. ROW() returns 5 but subtracting value stays the same (3) and we get 2. And it continues to be the cell you want.

To add steps, we use simple multiplication.

Increment Values By Column

In the above examples we increment by rows. It will not work if you copy them in the next column of the same row.

In the above formula we used the ROW function. Similarly, we can use the COLUMN function.

Generic Formula to Increment by Columns

Number of columns on the left of the first formula: If you are writing this first formula in B3 then the number of columns on the left of this formula will be 1.

I am not giving any examples as it will be the same as the above examples.

Alternative with SEQUENCE Function

It is a new function only available for EXCEL 365 and 2019 users. It returns an array of sequential numbers. We can use it to increment values sequentially, by rows, columns or both. And yes, you can also include the steps. Using this function you will not need to copy down the formula, as Excel 365 has auto spill functionality.

So, if you want to do the same thing as you did in Example no 3. The SEQUENCE function alternative will be:

## List Of Positive Words With Each Letter Of The Alphabet A To Z

It’s not a secret and both scientists and spiritual masters agree: positive language can change your life, because it can literally change your brain. It’s been proven that you can make your day better by using positive words, because you will feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Whenever I host a workshop or moms group, I always use kinesiology to demonstrate how hearing, writing, speaking – and even thinking – positive words can strengthen your muscles. Kinesiology “is the study of human and nonhuman animal-body movements, performance, and function by applying the sciences of biomechanics, anatomy, physiology, psychology, and neuroscience.“

Positive words can also promote cognitive function and strengthen areas of the brain’s frontal lobes, so they can help you with planning, controlling and executing behavior (kind of a big deal, right?).

I decided to make a list of positive words with each letter of the alphabet so you can start incorporating them on purpose into your everyday talk. It’s kind of like when you were in elementary school and you were given a list of words so you could make up sentences, only with better results!

Positive Words starting with letter A

Positive Words starting with letter B

Positive Words starting with letter C

Positive Words starting with letter D

Positive Words starting with letter E

Positive Words starting with letter F

Positive Words starting with letter G

Positive Words starting with letter H

Positive Words starting with letter I

Positive Words starting with letter J

Positive Words starting with letter K

Positive Words starting with letter L

Positive Words starting with letter M

Positive Words starting with letter N

Positive Words starting with letter O

Positive Words starting with letter P

Positive Words starting with letter Q

Positive Words starting with letter R

Positive Words starting with letter S

Positive Words starting with letter T

Positive Words starting with letter U

Positive Words starting with letter V

Positive Words starting with letter W

Positive Words starting with letter X

xoxo

Positive Words starting with letter Y

Positive Words starting with letter Z

Adding these words to your vocabulary (and banning debilitating and negative words) is proven to improve the quality of your life and your relationships. I’d say it’s worth it, right?

Which positive words from the list are your favorite? Which ones could I add? Sending you lots of positivity, love!

© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOMBe sure to Subscribe to blog post updates, so you never miss a thing!

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## How To Quickly Unhide Columns In Excel

If you prefer written instruction instead, below is the tutorial.

Hidden rows and columns can be quite irritating at times.

Especially if someone else has hidden these and you forget to unhide it (or even worse, you don’t know how to unhide these).

While I can’t do anything about the first issue, I can show you how to unhide columns in Excel (the same techniques can also be used to unhide rows).

It may happen that one of the methods of unhiding columns/rows may not work for you. In that case, it is good to know the alternatives that can work.

How to Unhide Columns in Excel

There are many different situations where you may need to unhide the columns:

Multiple columns are hidden and you want to unhide all columns at once

You want to unhide a specific column (in between two columns)

You want to unhide the first column

Let’s go through each for these scenarios and see how to unhide the columns.

Unhide All Columns At One Go

If you have a worksheet that has multiple hidden columns, you don’t need to go hunt each one and bring it to light.

You can do that all in one go.

And there are multiple ways to do this.

Using the Format Option

Here are the steps to unhide all columns at one go:

No matter where that pesky column is hidden, this will unhide it.

Note: You can also use the keyboard shortcut Control A A (hold the control key and hit the A key twice) to select all the cells in the worksheet.

Using VBA

If you need to do this often, you can also use VBA to get this done.

The below code will unhide column in the worksheet.

Sub UnhideColumns () Cells.EntireColumn.Hidden = False EndSubYou need to place this code in the VB Editor (in a module).

If you want to learn how to do this with VBA, read a detailed guide on how to run a macro in Excel.

Using a Keyboard Shortcut

If you’re more comfortable using keyboard shortcuts, there is a way to unhide all columns with a few keystrokes.

Here are the steps:

Select any cell in the worksheet.

Press Control-A-A (hold the control key and press A twice). This will select all the cells in the worksheet

Use the following shortcut – ALT H O U L (one key at a time)

If you can get hang of this keyboard shortcut, it could be a lot faster to unhide columns.

Note: The reason you need to press A twice when holding the control key is that sometimes when you press Control A, it only selects the used range in Excel (or the area that has the data) and you need to press the A again to select the entire worksheet.

Another keyword shortcut that works for some and not for others is Control 0 (from a numeric keypad) or Control Shift 0 from a non-numeric keypad. It used to work for me earlier but doesn’t work anymore. Here is some discussion on why it may happen. I suggest you use the longer (ALT HOUL) shortcut that works every time.

Unhide Columns in Between Selected Columns

There are multiple ways you can quickly unhide columns in between selected columns. The methods shown here are useful when you want to unhide a specific column(s).

Let’s go through these one-by-one (and you can choose to use that you find the best).

Using a Keyboard Shortcut

Below are the steps:

Select the columns that contain the hidden columns in between. For example, if you are trying to unhide column C, then select column B and D.

Use the following shortcut – ALT H O U L (one key at a time)

This will instantly unhide the columns.

Using the Mouse

One quick and easy way to unhide a column is to use the mouse.

Below are the steps:

Hover your mouse in between the columns alphabets that have the hidden column(s). For example, if Column C is hidden, then hover the mouse between Column B and D (at the top of the worksheet). You will see a double line icon with arrows pointing on left and right.

Hold the left key of the mouse and drag it to the right. It will make the hidden column appear.

Using the Format Option in the Ribbon

Under the home tab in the ribbon, there are options to hide and unhide columns in Excel.

Here is how to use it:

Select the columns between which there are hidden columns.

Hover the cursor on Hide & Unhide option.

Using VBA

Below is the code that you can use to unhide columns in between the selected columns.

Sub UnhideAllColumns() Selection.EntireColumn.Hidden = False End Sub

You need to place this code in the VB Editor (in a module).

If you want to learn how to do this with VBA, read a detailed guide on how to run a macro in Excel.

By Changing the Column Width

There is a possibility that none of these methods work when you try to unhide column in Excel. It happens when you change the Column Width to 0. In that case, even if you unhide the column, it’s width still remains 0, and hence you can’t see it or select it.

Below are the steps to change the column width:

In the name box, type any cell address in that column. For example, if it is column C, type C1.

Although the column is not visible, the cursor would go in between B1 and D1 (indicating that C1 has been selected).

Enter a column width value to make the column visible.

This is by far the most reliable way to unhide columns in Excel. If everything fails, just change the column width.

Unhide the First Column

Unhiding the first column can be a little bit tricky.

You can use many of the methods covered above, with a little bit of extra work.

Let me show you a few ways.

Use the Mouse to Drag the First Column

Even when the first column is hidden, Excel allows you to select it and drag it to make it visible.

To do this, hover the cursor on the left edge of column B (or whatever is the leftmost visible column).

The cursor would change into a double arrow pointer as shown below.

Hold the left mouse button and drag the cursor to the right. You will see that it unhides the hidden column.

Go to a Cell in the First Column and Unhide it

But how do you go to any cell in the column that’s hidden?

Good question!

You use the Name Box (it’s left to the formula bar).

Enter A1 in the Name Box. It will instantly take you to the A1 cell. Since the first column is hidden, you won’t be able to see it, but be assured that it’s selected (you’ll still see a thin line just left of B1).

Once the hidden column cell is selected, follow the below steps:

Hover the cursor on the ‘Hide & Unhide’ option.

Select the First Column and Unhide it

Again! How do you select it when it’s hidden?

Well, there are many different ways to skin the cat.

And this is just another method in my kitty (this is the last cat sounding reference I promise).

When you select the leftmost visible cell and drag the cursor to the left (where there are row numbers), you end up selecting all the hidden columns (even when you don’t see it).

Once you have select all the hidden columns, follow the below steps:

Hover the cursor on the ‘Hide & Unhide’ option.

Check The Number of Hidden Columns

Excel has an ‘Inspect Document’ feature that is meant to quickly scan the workbook and give you some details about it.

And one of the things that you can do that ‘Inspect Document’ is to quickly check how many hidden columns or hidden rows are there in the workbook.

This might be useful when you get the workbook from someone and want to quickly inspect it.

Below are the steps on how to check the total number of hidden columns or hidden rows:

Open the workbook

In the Document Inspector, make sure Hidden Rows and Columns option is checked.

This will show you the total number of hidden rows and columns.

It also gives you the option to delete all these hidden rows/columns. This can be the case if there is extra data that has been hidden and is not needed. Instead of finding hidden rows and columns, you can quickly delete these from this option.

You May Also Like the following Excel Tips/Tutorials:

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