Often when I'm working with large data sets, I structure the data in a way where every row equals one specific case. For example, in a psychological experiment, I input the data so that all data points on the same row comes from the same participant.
However, in all spreadsheet software that I've tried out (Excel, Open Office, Libre Office, Google Docs, et cetera), it's possible to sort data for a strict subset of the columns, leaving data points not belonging to this subset stationary. If you're working with a data set where each row represents a specific case, these types of operations can potentially be devastating.
Now, one could argue that the best thing to do here is just to avoid using these types of sorting functions, only applying global sorting functions instead. However, the fact that these sorting functions even exists results in me not trusting my data fully, and at times, I've happened to apply them to my data set by accident (sometimes not even realizing it).
Compare this to a program like for example SPSS. Here, the "one row=one case" philosophy is built into the program itself, meaning that you can't screw it up by applying the wrong sorting function.
So, my question is, are spreadsheet programs inherently unsuitable for "one row=one case" data? Is there any way, in any of the programs that I listed above, to lock the data to its row, or disable the sorting functions that could screw it up?