You can sort a Pivot Table in Excel horizontally or vertically. This allows you to see, at a glance, the rows or columns containing the greatest or the smallest values.
We will illustrate how to sort the values in a Pivot Table, using the example pivot table on the right, which shows a company's monthly sales.
In order to sort a column or row of the Pivot Table, we use the Excel Sort Ascending and Sort Descending Excel commands which are represented by the following symbols in the Excel menu:
These options are found:
|In Excel 2007-2013:||In the 'Home' tab, under the 'Sort & Filter' option
By right-clicking on the Pivot Table column and selecting the 'Sort' option
|In Excel 2003:||In the 'Standard' toolbar
in the 'Data' menu, within the 'Sort...' option
Imagine you want to find out the month of the year in which the highest sales figures were recorded. By sorting the 'Grand Total' column of the pivot table, in descending order, the month with the greatest sales figures is positioned at the top of the table.
To do this, click on any value inside the 'Grand Total' column and select the 'Sort Descending' option.
The resulting sorted Pivot Table is shown on the right. This enables you to easily see that the month with the highest sales was June, followed by October.
Imagine you want to order the yearly sales totals, so that the person with the smallest total yearly sales is listed first.
To do this, click on any value inside the 'Grand Total' row (i.e. cell B17 or C17 of the example spreadsheet), and select the 'Sort Ascending' option.
The resulting sorted Pivot Table is shown on the right. As required, the individuals have been ordered, so that the lowest total sales ($576,817) appears first.
Note that you could also sort the table alphabetically, according to the sales peoples' names. This is done by clicking on one of the names (either cell B4 or C4) and sorting either in ascending or descending order.