Blog

# How to Sort by Last Name in Excel?

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to sort your data in Excel by last name? Excel is an incredibly powerful spreadsheet software with a vast array of features, and sorting data is one of the most user-friendly and powerful tools. In this article, we’ll cover how to easily sort your data by last name in Excel, as well as how to customize your sorting preferences and use advanced sorting features to make the most of your data. So, let’s get started and learn how to sort by last name in Excel!

## Sorting Excel Data Alphabetically by Last Name

Sorting data alphabetically by last name in Microsoft Excel is a handy way to organize data and quickly find relevant information. Excel offers several methods for sorting data, including sorting by last name, which can save valuable time when you have a large dataset. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps needed to sort data in Excel by last name.

### 1. Create a New Column for Last Name

The first step in sorting by last name is to create a new column specifically for the last name. To do this, click on the first cell in the column you want to create and enter “Last Name” as the title. Then, enter the formula “=RIGHT(A2,LEN(A2)-FIND(” “,A2))” in the cell below it. This formula will extract the last name from the first cell, which will be the first name. The formula can then be dragged down to the end of the column to extract the last name from the rest of the cells.

#### i. Find Function

The Find function is used to locate a specific character or string of characters in a cell. In this case, the Find function is used to locate the space between the first and last name. The Find function will then return the position of the space, which can be used to extract the last name.

#### ii. Right Function

The Right function extracts a specific number of characters from the right side of the cell. In this case, the Right function is used to extract the last name from the cell by subtracting the position of the space from the total length of the cell.

### 2. Sort the Data by Last Name

Now that the data is organized by last name, the next step is to sort the data. To do this, select the column containing the last names, then click the “Data” tab and select “Sort.” This will bring up the Sort dialog box. In the Sort by drop-down, select the column containing the last names, then click “OK.” The data will then be sorted in alphabetical order by last name.

#### i. Ascending and Descending Order

In the Sort dialog box, you can also select whether the data is sorted in ascending or descending order. Ascending order will sort the data from A-Z, while descending order will sort the data from Z-A.

#### ii. Sort by Multiple Columns

You can also sort by multiple columns. To do this, select the columns you want to sort by and click the “Add Level” button. This will add a new row in the Sort by drop-down. You can then select the column you want to sort by in the new row.

### 3. Apply Conditional Formatting

Once the data is sorted by last name, you can apply conditional formatting to make it easier to read. To do this, select the column containing the last names, then click the “Home” tab and select “Conditional Formatting.” This will bring up the Conditional Formatting dialog box. In the drop-down, select “Color Scales” and select a color for the data. This will make it easier to read and distinguish between the different last names.

#### i. Highlight Cells Rules

If you want to highlight cells that meet certain criteria, you can use the Highlight Cells Rules option. This will allow you to select a criteria, such as “equal to” or “greater than,” and apply a color to the cells that match the criteria.

#### ii. Data Bars

The Data Bars option allows you to apply a color to cells based on their value. This can be useful if you want to visualize the data and make it easier to read.

## Related FAQ

### 1. What is the easiest way to sort by last name in Excel?

The easiest way to sort by last name in Excel is by using the “Sort” command located in the “Data” tab. This command can be used to sort data alphabetically or numerically. To sort by last name, you will need to select the column containing the last names and then click the “A-Z” icon in the “Sort & Filter” group. This will sort the column alphabetically, with the last names appearing in alphabetical order.

### 2. Can I sort by last name in Excel if the data is not in a single column?

Yes, you can still sort by last name in Excel even if the data is not in a single column. To do this, you will need to first select the columns containing the last names. Then you can use the “Sort” command as described above. This will allow you to sort the data alphabetically based on the last names, regardless of whether they are in one column or multiple columns.

### 3. Can I sort by last name in Excel if the data contains other information?

Yes, you can still sort by last name in Excel even if the data contains other information. To do this, you will need to first select the columns containing the last names. Then you can use the “Sort” command as described above. This will allow you to sort the data based on the last names, while maintaining the other data in its original order.

### 4. Can I sort by last name in Excel if the data contains duplicate names?

Yes, you can still sort by last name in Excel even if the data contains duplicate names. To do this, you will need to first select the columns containing the last names. Then you can use the “Sort” command as described above. This will allow you to sort the data alphabetically based on the last names, while maintaining the order of duplicate names.

### 5. Can I sort by last name in Excel if the data contains blank cells?

Yes, you can still sort by last name in Excel even if the data contains blank cells. To do this, you will need to first select the columns containing the last names. Then you can use the “Sort” command as described above. This will allow you to sort the data based on the last names, while ignoring the blank cells.

### 6. Can I sort by last name in Excel if the data contains non-alphanumeric characters?

Yes, you can still sort by last name in Excel even if the data contains non-alphanumeric characters. To do this, you will need to first select the columns containing the last names. Then you can use the “Sort” command as described above. This will allow you to sort the data based on the last names, while ignoring any non-alphanumeric characters.

Sorting by last name in Excel is a great way to organize your data and make it easier to find the information you need. Whether you’re creating a mailing list or just trying to keep track of contacts, sorting by last name can help you find the information you need quickly and easily. With a few simple steps, you can be on your way to sorting your data in no time!