How To Sort Alphabetically In Excel And Keep Rows Together

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to sort data alphabetically in Excel, but also want to ensure that the rows stay together? Well, I certainly have, and I can tell you that it can be a bit of a puzzle at first. But fear not, as I’ve got you covered with this comprehensive guide on how to achieve just that.

Sorting Alphabetically in Excel

First things first, let’s tackle the basics of sorting alphabetically in Excel. To do this, you’ll want to select the entire range of data that you want to sort. Then, navigate to the “Data” tab on the Excel ribbon. Look for the “Sort” button, and click on it to open the sorting options.

In the Sort dialog box, you’ll be able to choose the column you want to sort by, and the order in which you want to sort (either A to Z or Z to A). Once you’ve made your selections, click “OK” to apply the sort to your data. This is all pretty straightforward so far, but now comes the tricky part – keeping the rows together.

Keeping Rows Together

By default, when you sort data in Excel, each row is treated individually and will be rearranged based on the sorted column. However, if you want to ensure that the rows stay together, there’s a neat trick to accomplish this.

One way to do this is by inserting a helper column. This involves adding an extra column to your sheet where you can concatenate the values from the columns you want to keep together. For example, if you have first and last names in separate columns and want to keep the full names together, you can use a formula like =A2&" "&B2 in the helper column (assuming first names are in column A and last names are in column B).

Once you have the concatenated values in the helper column, you can then sort the data based on this new column. This will effectively keep the rows together while sorting alphabetically based on the concatenated values.


Sorting alphabetically in Excel is a useful feature, and by using the helper column method, you can maintain the integrity of your data by keeping related rows together. It may take a bit of extra work, but the payoff is certainly worth it when you see your data neatly sorted while preserving the relationships between the rows.