Excel 2003, sorting A-Z?

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G2C2C | 09:33 Thu 16th Feb 2012 | How it Works
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I'm doing out a contacts list using Excel 2003, using Name, Surname etc. Everytime that I go to sort A-Z of a column, another box comes up asking whether I want to expand the selection or stay with current selection. Unless I expand the selection then only one column sorts and the information gets mixed up. Is there any way to set it so that it automatically sorts every column at the same time with out having to choose seperately? At some stage it is pretty clear things will get mixed up if not.


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Does the worksheet contain any data that you will never want to include in the sorting?
If I understand you correctly you need to highlight all the data and then click on Sort and you will be asked which column(s) you want to sort by.
I have the same issue. Say you have a list like:

Firstname, Surname, Town
Steve, Smith, London
Jenny Brown, Manchester

and you click on town to sort them into town order. Excel will say do you want to expand the selection so it sorts all the data rather than just the town selection. Is there a way to default it so that it always expands the selection, as one day we will forget to click on yes and end up with a mixed up database?
if you highlight the whole area you want sorting first then sort it however you want, it will sort the whole lot
Question Author
Because this is a contact list I will always want all of the columns to sort when I sort any of the columns. For example if I sort the Surname column but then it doesn't sort the first name column or the telephone numbe column then all of the entries will get mixed up.
have all of your columns got titles? If there are any with blanks then the selection will automatically stop there. If all have headers then you should be able to simply hold down Alt and press D then S and the sort option box should appear with the whole of your text highlighted.
That's why you need to highlight everything first. Then when you choose to sort by surname it will automatically bring across the corresponding first name, address etc
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A lot of times when you are doing something like this there would be a little box that you can tick that will say "Do not ask me again". Is there no way to select to expand all the selection in this spreadsheet every time, rather that constantly having to click ok in the dialogue box?
highlight everything first....

(factor your turn)
To quickly highlight all the data click on the little box between the "A" and "1" marks, in the top left hand corner of the spreadsheet. Remember, though, this selects the whole sheet.
I highlighted all and clicked on the sort column I want but this just highlights the one column again.
Hi squarebear- I don't think you need to click on the column you want to sort.
Highlight everything then click on Data and select Sort and then it asks you which columns you want to sort by
Yes, that did it. Thanks.
Oh and sorry for hijacking your thread G2C2C
I don't think you did hijack the thread, squarebear as I think you and G2C2C had the same issue
Question Author
Hey guys I just realised what I was doing wrong. I was choosing the column that I wanted to sort by clicking on the A,C etc. letter at the top of the column. However I noticed that if I click on the heading name e.g Name, Phone No., Fax then it sorts all the columns on the page without asking the extra dialogue box.
Question Author
I've also just realised that if you click anywhere on the column it does same. My bad.
You're right G2C2C, but so's Pa___l3. If you don't have a title in any one column, you will find it'll only sort the columns to that one's left. So do make sure that each column has one.

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