Excel Unplugged

Case sensitive/insensitive Sort in Excel (bug or a feature)

This post will talk about the way that Excel sorts data and the Case Sensitive sorting it offers.

If we look at this data

Case sensitive/insensitive Sort in Excel

And sort it in ascending order (A-Z), we get

Case sensitive/insensitive Sort in Excel

It’s easy to see that there is no case sensitivity here, but there is a way to turn it on. You go to DATA/Sort

Case sensitive/insensitive Sort in Excel

In the sorting form you get, there is an Options window that allows you to say whether your sort should be Case Sensitive or Case Insensitive.

Case sensitive/insensitive Sort in Excel

Now if we choose case sensitive sorting, we get the sort order on the left whereas you might be like me and say that we should get the sorting as it’s seen on the right…

Case sensitive/insensitive Sort in Excel    

Obviously the length of the string also has effect on sorting. This is called a feature, but in my opinion it just makes Excel sort wrong!                         

Comments 3

  1. GFalleyn says:

    Absolutely correct. It’s a but. On top, you want the upper case on top, and lower case at the bottom. This is how ASCII works, and.. also how the Excel VBA comparison works, when comparing 2 strings…
    Very annoying.

  2. Roj23 says:

    I tried case sentive sort in Excel 2013… it is not working.

    1. Could you provide the Example used? And if everything else fails, you can always use Power Query which is case sensitive by default.

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