How to Arrange Numbers in Ascending Order in Excel Using Formula Explained

Arranging numbers in ascending order in Excel using a formula is a straightforward process once you know the steps. By using Excel’s built-in functions, you can sort a list of numbers effortlessly and automatically. This guide will show you exactly how to achieve that.

Arranging Numbers in Ascending Order in Excel Using Formula

Following these steps will allow you to sort numbers in ascending order in Excel, making your data easier to analyze and understand.

Step 1: Open Excel and Select Your Data

First, open Excel and select the range of cells that contain the numbers you want to sort.

Selecting your data correctly is essential. Make sure you highlight all the cells that need sorting. If your data is in column A, for example, you might select cells A1 to A10.

Step 2: Insert a New Column Next to the Data

Insert a new column next to the one containing your numbers. This will be where the sorted numbers will appear.

To insert a new column, right-click the column header and choose "Insert." This will create a blank column where you can place your sorted data.

Step 3: Enter the SMALL Function in the First Cell of the New Column

Type =SMALL(A$1:A$10, ROW(A1)) in the first cell of the new column.

The SMALL function is crucial here. It finds the smallest value in the specified range. ROW(A1) ensures the function correctly sorts sequentially from smallest to largest.

Step 4: Drag the Formula Down

Drag the fill handle (a small square at the bottom right of the cell) down the new column to apply the formula to the rest of the cells.

Dragging the formula down will extend the SMALL function to sort the entire range of numbers. Each subsequent cell in the new column will display the next smallest number from the original list.

Step 5: Check the Sorted Data

Review the new column to make sure the numbers are sorted in ascending order.

Double-checking your sorted data ensures there were no errors in your formula. Your numbers should now appear from the smallest to the largest in the new column.

After completing these steps, your original list of numbers will be sorted in ascending order in the new column. This method ensures your data remains dynamic, updating automatically if the original numbers change.

Tips for Arranging Numbers in Ascending Order in Excel Using Formula

  • Always double-check the range you select for sorting.
  • Use absolute references ($) to lock the range in your formula.
  • Dragging the formula down precisely is crucial for accurate sorting.
  • Create a backup of your data before starting.
  • Practice on a smaller dataset if you’re new to using formulas in Excel.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the SMALL function in Excel?

The SMALL function returns the k-th smallest value in a data set. It’s used here to sort numbers in ascending order.

Can I use this method to sort text or dates?

No, the SMALL function specifically works with numerical data. For text or dates, you would use different functions like SORT.

Do I need to adjust the formula if my data range changes?

Yes, you need to update the range in the formula to match any changes in your data set.

What happens if there are duplicate numbers?

The SMALL function will still sort them correctly, placing duplicates in the correct order within the sequence.

Can I use this method in Excel online?

Yes, Excel online supports the SMALL function, so this method will work there too.

Summary of Steps

  1. Open Excel and select your data.
  2. Insert a new column next to the data.
  3. Enter the SMALL function in the first cell of the new column.
  4. Drag the formula down.
  5. Check the sorted data.


Sorting numbers in ascending order in Excel using a formula might seem tricky at first, but it’s a breeze once you get the hang of it. This method is not only quick but also ensures your data remains dynamic and up-to-date. With the SMALL function in your toolkit, you’ve got a powerful way to sort numerical data effortlessly. Now that you’ve mastered this, why not explore other Excel functions to enhance your data management skills? Happy sorting!

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