Excel: Sorting and Filtering

Download Exercise File Here: ExcelTable

Sorting and Filtering are two basic functions you will perform quite often in Excel. When dealing with large data sets, it can be difficult to see what you are looking for, especially if the records appear in random order. Using sort and filter, you can adjust the spreadsheet to show what you want to see.


Sorting is simple in Excel. Just click on the header cell for the column you want to sort (in my example I chose “Name”). From the Ribbon Bar select Data. Now click on the AZ and ZA arrows. The column you selected will sort.


Now, try it out on the other columns as well.

Finally, select the box directly above the word sort in the picture above. This will give you an advanced sort menu.

From this menu,  can select the column you wish to sort, the values you want to sort on, and the sort order.



To filter, select the Filter icon from the Data tab in the Ribbon Bar


Notice arrows now appear in the column header cells


Click on the arrow for Quarter. Now, uncheck the Select All box and check Quarter 2 > Okay


Now your sheet only has rows containing Quarter 2. Take note of the row numbers though. Notice the row numbers skip around. This is because the other rows are still there, they are just hidden by the filter.


Python: Enumerate() and Sort


Enumerate is a useful function in Python as it returns both the indexes and values of Lists.

Let’s look at the code:

Running the list through a For loop, we assign the index to x and the value to y


Let’s say we only wanted to print every other value in a list

To do that, I could run a simple nested an IF statement inside my loop stating if the index an even number, then print the value. (x%2==0 is an easy trick for finding even or odd values. % means modulus – it returns the remainder of a division problem. Any even number divided by 2 will not have a remainder – so the modulus will be 0)



Python lists come with a two built in sort functions.


The first: sorted() – sorts the items in a list, but does not alter the list.

As you can see, sorted(lst) returns a sorted list, but calling lst again shows the list is still in its original order.


To sort the items in descending order use the reverse=True command:



list.sort() is a method – meaning it is a function found with the class List.

list.sort() sorts items in a list and alters position of the items in the actual list. So the next time you run the list, the items are sorted in the list.

Also note that reverse = True works in the list.sort() method as well.


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