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I want to highlight, for example, rows 5-15 across columns C, D, and E, and sort only that block in ascending order by one of the columns. The trick is that I want all included columns to follow suit so that the data maintains integrity within rows.

Usually when you sort ascending or sort descending it's by highlighting an entire column, and you're given an option to expand the selection, which would sort your entire spreadsheet based on the new order.

Am I able to sort only a block, without choosing the entire column?

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Try highlighting those 3 columns and sort by the required column (click the required column first when selecting), if that's what you're looking for. – Jerry Sep 25 '13 at 12:42
You must apply the sort to the entire row of data that you are sorting for it to maintain integrity. So you can select rows 5-15 and select filter, then just filter by c d or e. – Raystafarian Sep 25 '13 at 13:45
You only need the entire row if the other columns are associated with what's in that block. If the other columns are unrelated, you only need to highlight the block, but you do need to highlight everything that requires maintaining integrity. You can sort the block by what ever column you want, or even several columns in a specified order (the sort columns must be included in the selection). – fixer1234 Dec 30 '14 at 19:25

Yes, you can sort only a block. Just highlight the rows you want sorted, and it will sort only that area.

Note that if you receive this message:
enter image description here
then you have not selected all the columns in your table. As long as you don't get that message, then your sort will go as expected.

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Sean, thanks for the comment. I think that won't work because if I include more than one column in that block, Excel won't do anything. Actually, I may have found a solution--Kingsoft office will sort the block by the left-hand column in that situation. Do you know of an office feature that will do the same thing? – DubiousLenovo Sep 25 '13 at 23:08

If I understand your question correctly, you want to know how to do this with a Microsoft Office Application. And if it can be, which one? If that is correct, based on your last entry, you can accomplish the task using MS Excel 2010 by doing the following:

  1. Select cells C5:D15
  2. Using Excel 2010, click on "Home" in the menu bar
  3. Click in the "Editing" tab, on "Sort & Filter"
  4. Select "Custom Sort"
  5. Uncheck the box "My data has headers"
  6. Sort By: Column C
  7. Sort On: Values
  8. Order: A to Z
  9. Click OK

Should you need to Sort Left to Right, instead of Top to Bottom, click the "Options.." button in the dialog box, to make that selection.

I have tested this with various numbers/data in all bordering rows and columns with success. And with only the data in the selected cells,rows,columns being sorted. All other data remained unchanged.

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The title of the question says 'Excel' and there is a "Microsoft-excel" tag on the question. Why were you in any doubt about which application was to be used? – CJ7 Apr 19 at 3:04

The only solution I found is to cut and paste the highlighted portion to a new sheet and then sort it over there, once sorted copy/cut and paste it back to the original location.

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